If Pope Benedict's visit to Ireland in June 2012 goes ahead it will bring a multi-million dollar boost to the Irish economy.
Irish church leaders are confident that the leader of the Catholic Church will preside over an open-air Mass at Croke Park as the closing ceremony of the Eucharistic Congress.
Organizer for the Congress, Anne Griffin, told a conference in Dublin that there would be at least 80,000 people at the Croke Park Mass.
Also, the Pope's visit would mean a week-long celebration and, she estimated, about 12,000 visitors to Ireland.
The secretary for the Congress, Father Kevin Doran, said that they would need 300 volunteers to help organizing the congress which will run from June 10 to 17, 2012.
However, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has insisted that there are no definite plans for the Pope to visit Dublin next year according to “Irish Independent” reports. He did confirm that the Pope had been invited to Ireland by Primate Sean Brady.
The International Eucharistic Congress is series of devotional rallies which began in France in 1881. They take place every four years with the aim of making Catholics aware of the importance of the Eucharist.
Pope Benedict XVI selected Dublin as the location for the 50th congress.
Archbishop Martin said that the Pope would look at the Dublin congress in the context of the renewal of the Irish church following years of revelations about clerical abuse. He also pointed out that Pope did not attend the last congress in Quebec in 2008. He added that the Pope's participation in the congress would be subject to other factors such as his health.
Martin said this Congress would not be an exercise in looking back and trying to replicate the last Congress which took place in Ireland in 1932, over one million Catholics attended.
He said, "These are very different times…There are people who will not be interested and people who have other parts of a church agenda."
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