Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Pope Francis has confirmed he will travel to Ireland in August 2018.
It comes after Mr Kenny held a 23-minute meeting with the pope in the Vatican.
The meeting was requested following the invitation to the pope by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference to visit Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in two years’ time.
The Taoiseach would not confirm or deny that he had raised the issue of Irish priests who had been silenced by the Vatican over their published views on issues such as the ordination of woman and priestly celibacy.
A reliable clerical source told RTÉ News that Mr Kenny was to raise the cases of six Irish priests who have been silenced by the Catholic Church. The source said the Taoiseach spoke to at least one of the priests concerned before departing for Rome.
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