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No papal visit to Ireland this year

April 09, 2012

The Vatican has announced that Cardinal Marc Ouellet will attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin as the Pope’s personal representative—thus confirming that Pope Benedict XVI himself will not make the trip to Ireland this year.

Until last year, Irish Church leaders had anticipated that the Pontiff might travel to Dublin for the International Eucharistic Congress, and Vatican officials had reportedly traveled to Ireland to begin making practical arrangements for a papal visit. But those plans were shelved after the eruption of the sex-abuse scandal, and intemperate criticism of the Holy See by the Irish government, caused a severe setback in relations between the Vatican and Ireland.

In February, Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin conceded that a papal visit had become highly unlikely, saying that the current atmosphere in Ireland weighed against the possibility, and a papal trip “would have to fit into the overall timetable of the renewal of the Church in Ireland.”


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