Pope Francis to visit Ireland soon after abortion referendum

Source: The Guardian

Ireland correspondent

Pontiff to visit in August, three months after country votes on whether to repeal ban

Pope Francis waves to the faithful in St Peter’s Square
 Pope Francis waves to the faithful in St Peter’s Square. His will be the first papal visit to Ireland since Pope John Paul II’s in 1979 Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis is to visit Ireland in August, just three months after the country votes in a deeply divisive referendum that could lead to legal abortions in the republic’s hospitals.

The Vatican confirmed on Wednesday that the first papal visit to Ireland since 1979 will take place during a “World Meeting of Families” week that runs from 21 to 26 August.

He will celebrate mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday 26 August – the same venue where Pope John Paul II preached to nearly 1 million Catholics 39 years ago.

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