Steps taken to invite Pope to address Seanad

The move was proposed before Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore’s decision to reopen Ireland’s Embassy to the Holy See

Irish senators are one step closer to inviting Pope Francis to address the Upper House this year as part of an initiative led by Independent Senator David Norris.

The move was proposed before Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore's decision to reopen Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See and is believed to be down to the favourable persona of the Pontiff.

Part of the visit would consist of offering the Pope an opportunity to address a joint sitting of both Houses of the Oireachtas in the Seanad.

A motion will be now laid before the Seanad following an all-party agreement on the proposal at a meeting of the Seanad Committee of Procedures and Privileges (CPP) last week. Mr Norris had last month written to CPP to give priority to such an invitation.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic this week, Senator Norrissaid an official visit from the Pope would “lift the spirit of Ireland”.

“I think such a visit is a possibility because of the type of man the Pope is. His vision is one of equality, honesty and humility and I think the people of Ireland could benefit from that.

“He is prophetic visionary, a man with genuine Christ-like humility. He’s a very remarkable man and it would be a great honour for the Seanad,” he said.