A POTENTIAL visit by the Pope to Ireland in 2018 would be “controversial” and “divisive,” it was claimed on Tuesday night September 29th 2015.
The Evangelical Protestant Society said while it had “no desire to deny the people of faith the right to have a visit by the head of their Church”, if the papal visit took place it would, “along with other evangelical Protestant organisations, Churches and individuals, exercise our democratic right to express our opposition.” The organisation was speaking a day after it was revealed that Pope Francis may visit Ireland in 2018 to attend the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Dublin. Church sources have said it is “likely” any visit to Ireland would see the Pontiff travel to the North of Ireland also. It is expected that it will be known within three weeks if the visit will go ahead.
However, Wallace Thompson, secretary of the Evangelical Protestant Society, said such a vist would be opposed. “In the case of the Pope, the position is complicated by his unique claims, and any visit would be controversial and divisive.” “The reality is that this ‘humble’ Pope makes the same arrogant claimes as his predecessors. “His titles include Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ. He therefore lays claim to spirtual sovereignty over the whole Church and no visit can be merely ‘pastoral’.” Meanwhile, Belfast city council is to be asked to issue an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the city should he confirm his Ireland schedule. Alliance councillor, Nuala McAllister said it would be a “fantastic opportunity to make history in Belfast, signalling we are an open community, welcoming to all”.
With many thanks to: Marie Louise McConville, The Irish News.