Pope set to visit prison dur­ing trip to Ire­land

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY SARAH MacDON­ALD

POPE Fran­cis will visit one of the Repub­lic’s 14 pris­ons dur­ing his trip next Au­gust, the Arch­bishop of Dublin has re­vealed.

Speak­ing at St Mary’s Pro Cathe­dral in Dublin af­ter he or­dained two new priests for his dio­cese, Arch­bishop Diar­muid Martin said the Pope would also “want to meet priests and “will want par­tic­u­larly to meet with the poor”.

“He will, with­out any doubt, visit a prison,” he added.

De­spite much spec­u­la­tion, this is the first in­di­ca­tion of what the Pope’s sched­ule will be dur­ing next year’s pa­pal visit.

The ex­act itin­er­ary re­mains un­clear un­til the Vat­i­can of­fi­cially con­firms that the visit is go­ing ahead. That con­fir­ma­tion is ex­pected in Jan­uary.

Dr Martin will host the in­ter­na­tional World Meet­ing of Fam­i­lies, which will run place in Ire­land from Au­gust 21 to 26 next year. The Pope will pre­side at the con­clud­ing Mass, which will most likely be held in Croke Park on Au­gust 26.

“He is com­ing for the World Meet­ing of Fam­i­lies, that is his pri­mary pur­pose. He will fo­cus on the many dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges fam­i­lies have to face,” Dr Martin said yes­ter­day.

“He doesn’t want big shows, he wants to be just present with those who are marginalised.”

Arch­bishop Martin said he would like the Pope “to come to ar­eas, par­tic­u­larly of Dublin, where he can see poor com­mu­ni­ties hit by poverty or dif­fi­cul­ties”.

This may sug­gest the Arch­bishop is lin­ing up a visit to the in­ner-city com­mu­ni­ties of his own par­ish which have been plagued by gang­land vi­o­lence.

Dur­ing the solemn cer­e­mony of or­di­na­tion yes­ter­day, Dr Martin told Fr James Daly and Fr Bill O’Shaugh­nessy that he had cho­sen the Feast of St Lau­rence O’Toole, pa­tron of Dublin, for their or­di­na­tion be­cause the saint was from Cas­tle­d­er­mot, the same place as Fr O’Shaugh­nessy.

He said great changes had taken place over the past five decades in Ir­ish cul­ture and in the place of the Church in so­ci­ety.

“The Church can never be the closed com­mu­nity of the like-minded. It can never be sim­ply a com­fort zone,” he warned.

Visit: Pope Fran­cis

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