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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Pope has accepted invitation to Ireland
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¬†Pope John Paul II, has responded to the formal invitation by the Irish Bishops' Conference to pay a return visit to Ireland to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first visit on 29 September, 1979. The Most Reverend Dr SeŠn Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said on Friday: "Our invitation request has been placed before the Holy Father and a reply has been received from the Vatican's Secretariat of State indicating that the proposed visit has, in principle, been accepted. We are delighted with this response and hope that this visit will take place. "However, the date of the visit has yet to be decided but given the commitments of the Holy Father for the remainder of the year, it would seem reasonable to conclude at this stage that a visit in 2004, while not ruled out, is rather unlikely." Archbishop Brady continued: "The programme of places to be visited has yet to be prepared and agreed. The visit of the Holy Father would once again be a pastoral one. An appropriate and substantial programme of prayer, preparation and reflection is essential to ensure that the people of Ireland would gain maximum benefit from another papal visit." Archbishop Brady concluded: "The response that I and my fellow bishops and priests have already received from the laity regarding a return visit clearly demonstrate to us that the Irish people would warmly welcome the Bishop of Rome once more into their midst. Now is the time to begin the preparation. A programme to mark the 25th anniversary is scheduled for September with a major celebration in Clonmacnois on September 19. A special message from the Holy Father has been requested for the occasion and is eagerly awaited. The celebration will evoke many wonderful memories and inspire many to do their utmost to ensure another memorable visit." Source: Irish Bishops' Conference Media Office
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