Pope Benedict XV1 is expected to visit Ireland next year and take part in the 50th International Eucharistic Congress according to reports.
High level Vatican officials have been in Ireland this past week and it is expected that Pope Benedict will be the the star attraction at the congress.
There is speculation of an open-air mass at Croke Park, Ireland’s largest stadium, in Dublin on June 17th 2012.
Security concerns are now minimized following the successful visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama in the past month.
The last papal visit to Ireland was in 1979 when Pope John Paul celebrated outdoor mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park and received a massive reception.
Since then things have gone badly for the church in Ireland with a major pedophile scandal and falling attendance.
A papal visit is seen as a necessary step to shore up the faith in a country which has long been considered a bulwark.
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