Pope undecided on 2012 trip to Ireland
THE Pope has still not decided if he will come to Dublin in 2012 to preside at a major international gathering.
Yesterday morning he met with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and members of the organising committee of the 50th Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Ireland in the summer of 2012.
Afterwards a spokesperson for Dr Martin told the Irish Independent that no indication was given by Pope Benedict if he intends to travel to Dublin in June 2012.
"The event is too far out for arrangements to be made for the Pope's itinerary to be put into his diary," he said.
Addressing the delegation at the Vatican, Pope Benedict expressed his hope that the preparations in Ireland for the International Eucharistic Congress would help with the renewal of the Irish church in the wake of the clerical child abuse scandals.
"Your assembly has paid great attention to this event, which is also part of the modernisation programme of the church in Ireland," Pope Benedict told the visitors.
The Congress theme is 'Communion with Christ and one another'. Pastoral planning and preparations are under way throughout Ireland:
Next Friday the head of the Irish church, Sean Brady, will be in Rome for a special meeting of the world's cardinals to discuss together for the first time the global paedophile crisis which has rocked the church.