Pope could make first visit to Ireland for 39 years
Pope Francis is expected to make the first Papal visit to Ireland in almost 40 years after he announced yesterday that Dublin will be the host city for the World Meeting of Families in 2018.
The announcement came after the conclusion of the final mass of this year’s Meeting of Families which took place in Philadelphia.
The outdoor mass was attended by more than a million people.
The Meeting of Families takes place every three years, and is one of the main events in the Catholic Church.
It is a meeting of many of the leaders of the Church from around the world, and has been described as a celebration of family life and the Church’s commitment to supporting families.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin spoke to Pope Francis before the mass on Sunday evening.
He said: “The family in Ireland is strong and the Church is called to take up the challenge of ensuring that future Catholic generations are prepared to live their marriage as an itinerary of faith.”
Pope Francis’ attendance to the Meeting of Families in Dublin will not be confirmed until nearer to the time because it will depend on his health at the time.
The last Papal visit to Ireland was in 1979, when Pope John Paull II travelled to several cities including Dublin, Galway and Limerick.
The Meeting in 2018 is also expected to be spread out further than just Dublin because of the significance of the event and the size of the country.