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Saturday 3 December 2016

Pope expected to visit Ireland in 2018 during families event

A child reaches out to touch the Pope's face during a parade to celebrate mass in Philadelphia (AP)
A child reaches out to touch the Pope's face during a parade to celebrate mass in Philadelphia (AP)
Pope Francis kisses the altar as he arrives for the open-air mass in Philadelphia (AP)

Pope Francis is expected to make the first papal visit to Ireland in nearly 40 years after the country was chosen to host the next World Meeting of Families.

The event, to be staged in 2018 in Dublin, is one of the Catholic Church's highest- profile events and usually involves a visit by the pontiff to the host country.

Francis made the announcement yesterday after an outdoor mass for a million people attending the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

victims

The Pope met Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, the prelate who will oversee the event, the world's largest gathering of Catholic families.

Pope Francis earlier yesterday met with prisoners in a US jail before meeting with victims of child-abusing priests on the final day of his US visit.

He promised to hold those responsible for the abuse scandals accountable as he delivered a powerful warning to American bishops accused of covering up for paedophiles instead of reporting them to police.

"God weeps" over what was done to the youngsters, he said.

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