December 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Suggestion of joint visit by Pope Francis and the Queen to Northern Ireland quashed

A leading Catholic journalist in Ireland has shot down rumours that Pope Francis will join the Queen on a visit to Northern Ireland next year.

Michael Kelly, the editor of the Irish Catholic, has denounced claims that the Pope, who will be in Dublin in 2018 for the World Meeting of Families, will travel north of the border and be joined by the Queen.

“It’s not going to happen: the Pope comes as a pastoral leader to a particular country or region – his ministry is primarily to the local Catholic community,” said Mr Kelly. “Obviously in the context of somewhere like Northern Ireland, his role is wider than that and is support of the peace process and wider efforts at reconciliation, but it is not a political visit.

“A joint visit with the Queen would overly-politicise it and would probably upset some people within the Catholic/broader nationalist community.”

Q Radio, a Northern Irish radio station, reported that the Pope was due to travel to Northern Ireland and be joined by the Queen and that plans for a joint visit were in the works.

It has been picked up by wider media across Ireland.

Details of Pope Francis visit to Ireland next year, which many Scottish Catholics are expected to attend, were confirmed this week with the visit which takes place between August 21 and 26.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said that ‘anywhere he goes his presence will be linked to the World Meeting of Families,’

“There will be no side agendas, there will be a number of events – a three day conference in the RDS about family values, on the Saturday evening there will be, presumably in Croke Park, a festival of families, there will be a celebration of families, with musicians and speakers. On the Sunday there will be a final Mass, presumably in the Phoenix Park,” he said. “You have to remember this Pope is 81, Pope John Paul II was 60 (when he visited Ireland in 1979), so the amount of things he can do is limited.”

Leave a Reply

latest news

Scottish bishops reveal new Coronavirus working group chaired by lay Catholic

May 6th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Bishop Gilbert said: "The bishops are keen to benefit from...

Scots College rector says BBC documentary’s success shows desire for more religious-themed shows

May 4th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome said...

Funeral arrangements made for one of Glasgow Archdiocese’s ‘best-known’ priests

May 4th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Funeral arrangements have been made for a Glasgow Archdiocese priest...

Dunkeld pays tribute to priest who served for nearly 65 years

May 4th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld paid tribute to to a...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Unite in prayer against the virus, Paisley bishop pleads
  • Papal award recognises 60 years of Faithful service
  • Catholic high school leads trend with positive outcomes for pupils
  • New memorials celebrate Croy’s proud mining heritage
  • Top Catholic university rolls out programme in Scotland

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO