Pope Francis could address Seanad

Senator David Norris hopes to bring an all-party motion to the Seanad for a debate on the issue.

Pope Francis could be invited to address the Seanad after an official process to make the request was initiated by an Independent Senator.

Senator David Norris told The Irish Catholic he has written to the Committee on Procedure and Privileges (CPP) to give priority to such an invitation. He now hopes to bring an all-party motion to the Seanad for a debate on the issue.

“I decided to initiate this process because I have been extremely impressed with Pope Francis since the first moment he appeared on the balcony in St Peter’s Square,” the former presidential candidate said.

“He is prophetic visionary, a man with genuine Christ-like humility. That vision needs to be taken into account.”

Mr Norris added that Ireland had played a crucial role in the development of Christianity and a visit from the Latin American pontiff would honour that fact.

He said Pope Francis has an “unusual background” in the fact that he spent several months in Dublin in Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy.

“The Pope knows this country and this city. He will also surely be aware of the very special place throughout history that Ireland has played in the development of Christianity and in particular the Roman Catholic Church,” he said.

Mr Norris suggested the proposed address by Pope Francis could take part in the context of an official State visit to include meetings with President Michael D. Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore.

“I think an official visit from the Pope would lift the spirit of Ireland. He would bring joy and hope to the Irish people, which is exactly what this country needs.

“The new Pope’s vision is one of equality, honesty and humility. If he could inspire those standards of integrity it would be wonderful,” he said.