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Ireland has officially invited Pope Francis over for tea in 2018

We could be welcoming Pope Francis to these shores for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018.

Vatican Pope Pope Francis Source: Andrew Medichini

AN INVITATION HAS been extended to Pope Francis to visit Ireland in 2018.

The invitation has been made by Ireland’s Catholic Bishops and would see the Pontiff potentially visiting these shores in for the World Meeting of Families in August in two years’ time.

While the invitation itself was extended to the Pontiff in January by Archbishops Eamon Martin of Armagh and Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, it only became officially known about today.

The invitation was officially acknowledged by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland Charles Brown who conveyed the “gratitude of Pope Francis” in return and assured the archbishops that it would be “given careful consideration”.

So will be seeing the Pope in a couple of years’ time? No one yet knows. But at least he knows we’d be happy to see him.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny meanwhile dealt with the invitation at a European Council press conference this morning in Brussels.

“If the Pope decides to accept the invitation, the Government would approve of that and would welcome Pope Francis and would make all the arrangements necessary to treat him in a manner befitting the head of the Catholic Church,” he said.

It’s a matter for the Pope himself to decide whether or not to accept the invitation.

“It’s a very different kind of situation from that in 1979 (when Pope John Paul II visited Ireland), but then he’s a very different kind of man,” the Taoiseach added.

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