The DUP said a visit by the Pope to Northern Ireland next year could put strain on the party's recent policy of more openness to the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Sean Brady revealed yesterday that he has invited Benedict the 16th to visit Ireland - and there is speculation that it could take place in April shortly after the final deadline for devolution.
However DUP sources said it would create a very difficult situation for Ian Paisley if he was asked to meet the Pope soon after becoming first minister.
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