Pope Francis to make pastoral visit to France in 2015

Before making a pastoral visit to any single European nation, Pope Francis will address the regional European Parliament, which meets in Strasbourg, France.

Releasing the official itinerary for the November 25 trip, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the Pope would return to France during 2015 for a pastoral visit to the country and its Catholics.

The European Parliament, which has 751 members, is the legislative branch of the European Union formed by 28 European countries, including Ireland.

The Pope’s trip is scheduled to last just under eight hours and will include two speeches. In addition to the parliament, he will give a speech at the Council of Europe, a body formed by the heads of government of the 28 EU countries.