Wednesday 18 July 2018

The Pope is welcome to come, but his visit will not define the era or Ireland

Most people don't have strong feelings about the Pope's visit one way or another, and that may be more worrying for the Church

APATHY: Pope Francis’s visit Pic: Reuters
APATHY: Pope Francis’s visit Pic: Reuters

Eilis O'Hanlon

They argued about the Government's record on social housing. There was also plenty to chew over in regard to US President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Then Sean O'Rourke asked the guests on the regular Friday morning Gathering segment of his RTE Radio One show for their thoughts on the announcement of the itinerary for Pope Francis's forthcoming visit to Ireland.

Irish Independent columnist Colette Browne had first bite at that cherry. She simply said: "It's going to be a good trip, a lot of people are going to enjoy it, I don't have any problem with him coming here, and I hope it goes off without a hitch." Damien English, Minister of State for Housing, remarked that it was a "big event for the State" and "a good story for Ireland".

Michael O'Regan, parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times - who'd earlier won top cliche points with a quip about Trump and Kim's bizarre hairstyles (oh, how listeners must have split their sides at that one; sure they've never heard that gag before) - welcomed the fact Pope Francis would be visiting Brother Kevin's homeless centre during his stay in Dublin in August.

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