Pope Francis confirms trip to Ireland in August 2018 - first papal visit in 40 years
Pope Francis has said he will make the first papal visit to Ireland in near 40 years.
The Pope will visit Dublin on August 25 and 26 as the city hosts of the World Meeting of Families, an international Catholic event which is staged every three years.
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Pope John Paul II was the last pontiff to visit the Republic of Ireland in 1979.
There had been speculation that the pope (81) would also visit Northern Ireland, whose leaders had floated the idea of a papal visit.
The World Meeting of Families is taking place in Dublin August 21-26. The pope (81) will preside at the closing ceremonies on the final two days.
He will take part in the ‘Festival of Families’ in Croke Park on August 25 and the following day he will celebrate mass in the Phoenix Park.
The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has welcomed the news and said they are "deeply honoured" that the pontiff has chosen to come to Dublin.
“We are deeply honoured that Pope Francis will come to our country to participate in this universal Church celebration of faith and joy, as well as of the contemporary challenges which face families," the bishops said in a statement.
"With great anticipation we also look forward to hearing the apostolic guidance of His Holiness during his stay with us.”
Full details of the pope's visit will be released at a later date.
Belfast Telegraph Digital