Two key moves to reduce the Catholic Church's control of education in the Irish Republic will be made within weeks - just as bishops prepare for their biggest celebration in almost 40 years.
Plans by Irish education minister Richard Bruton to remove a cornerstone of Catholic school admission polices - the so-called baptism barrier - are at an advanced stage.
So too are moves to ask parents to decide who should run Catholic primary schools.
The head-on challenge to the foundations of Catholic education comes amid preparations for the visit by Pope Francis in August.
Lifting the 'baptism barrier' requires a change in the law, and Mr Bruton expects to be able to make an announcement shortly on how he proposes to do that, a Dublin Department of Education spokesman said.
The move will raise Church-State tensions in advance of the papal visit and also coincides with a divisive referendum on abortion.
The 'baptism barrier' allows Church-run schools to give priority admission to pupils baptised in their faith - for which they have legal protection under the Equal Status Act.
It has become a source of growing controversy as 90% of primary schools are under Catholic control, although the proportion of the population declaring as Catholic is in sharp decline.
A second initiative represents a further attempt to broaden choice for parents and identify Catholic primary schools that may be handed over to a multi-denominational patron.
Mr Bruton said "supporting the transfer of schools to multi-denominational patrons, in response to the wishes of local families, will be based on cooperation and transparency".