The new Pope has been invited to Ireland – and the sooner he accepts the invitation the better according to Cardinal Sean Brady.
The Catholic Church boss in Ireland has revealed his plans to extend a Cead Mile Failte to Pope Francis according to the Irish Sun newspaper.
The paper says Cardinal Brady wants to persuade the Argentinean to put Ireland top of his list for a papal visit.
Speaking to reporters at the Irish College in Rome, Cardinal Brady admitted that he has yet to ask Jorge Bergoglio to visit Ireland after his election.
But he revealed: “We will be inviting him to Ireland, I’m sure of that, when an appropriate occasion occurs.
“We have strong links with Argentina as a nation and I will remind him of that!
“Irishman Admiral William Brown was the founder of the Argentinean navy. He’s a Co Mayo man, from Foxford in Co Mayo.”
Cardinal Brady, a first time attendant at the two-day Vatican conclave, also spoke of his experience.
He said: “The events inside the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday night were touching.
“It was very moving as the votes were being counted and the names resounding out - Bergoglio, Bergoglio - and suddenly the magic number was reached and there was applause.
“Each cardinal then took turns to congratulate the new Pontiff. I went up and said, ‘I bring you the love and the prayers and the affection of the Irish people, there have been historic links between Ireland and Argentina.’
“And he said, ‘I want to ask for your continued prayers and I send you my blessing’.”
Cavanman Brady, 73, also admitted to initial surprise at the election of the 76-year-old prelate from Buenos Aires.
He added: “The vote was an historic event for many reasons. The Papacy has gone across the Atlantic to the New World for the first time.
“Pope Francis, a big statement in itself. First time a Jesuit. He is a man with simple style of life, an emphasis on the poor and he is a witness to heroic practical love.”