Pope Visit In Time For 'Yes' Vote?

Sunday’s announcement that Dublin will host the 50th international Eucharistic Congress in 2012 has sparked renewed speculation of a papal visit next year.

Although the annual congressional meetings are usually attended by a special representative for the Pope, the announcement of Ireland as host has ignited the previously smouldering suspicions that Ireland was to see a papal visit.

Should it come off, a visit would be in perfect timing for the widely anticipated re-run of the Lisbon Treaty referendum - which is likely in 2009.

During the run-up to the recently failed Treaty referendum, Pope Benedict XVI made comments praising the role of the Irish in the history of Europe - a move that was viewed by many as a message of support for the Lisbon Treaty from the famously pro-European pope.

A papal visit with a message of support for the 'Yes' campaign could be enough to push through the Treaty for the Government, who are presently struggling to win new support for the constitutional amendment.

The visit is also expected to help with the Irish Church's recovery after the revelations in recent years of clerical child sex abuse, especially if the Pontiff reiterates the apologies made during his recent trip to the United States.

Pope Treads Softly Into Treaty Vote


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