Monday 16 July 2018

Pope will visit prison during his time in Ireland

The Pope's itinerary remains unclear until the Vatican officially confirms the visit is going ahead. That confirmation is expected in January. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
The Pope's itinerary remains unclear until the Vatican officially confirms the visit is going ahead. That confirmation is expected in January. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Sarah MacDonald

Pope Francis will visit one of the country's 14 prisons during his time in Ireland next August, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has revealed to the Irish Independent.

Speaking at St Mary's Pro Cathedral Dublin, after he ordained two new priests for his diocese, the Archbishop of Dublin said the Pope would also "want to meet priests when he comes" and "will want particularly to meet with the poor".

"He will, without any doubt, visit a prison," he said.

This is the first indication of what the Pope's agenda will be.

The itinerary remains unclear until the Vatican officially confirms the visit is going ahead. That confirmation is expected in January.

Dr Martin is president, and therefore host, of the international World Meeting of Families, which takes place from August 21 to 26 next year.

The Pope will preside at the concluding Mass, most likely to be held in Croke Park on Sunday, August 26.

"He is coming for the World Meeting of Families, that is his primary purpose.

"He will focus on the many difficulties and challenges families have to face," Dr Martin said yesterday.

"He doesn't want big shows, he wants to be just present with those who are marginalised," he added.

Archbishop Martin said he would like the Pope "to come to areas, particularly of Dublin, where he can see poor communities, hit by poverty or difficulties".

This may suggest the Archbishop is lining up a visit to the inner-city communities of his own parish.

Irish Independent

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