Pope Francis invite motion passed

Pope Francis invite motion passed

Councillors in Belfast have voted in favour of inviting Pope Francis to the city.

A motion was debated on Tuesday night asking the pontiff to come to the city if he ever visits the Republic of Ireland.It was passed with 30 councillors in favour, none against. Every unionist councillor abstained.SDLP councillor Pat McCarthy tabled the proposal last week ahead of the monthly meeting at Belfast City Hall.He wants the Stormont Assembly to extend a similar invitation.Last month, the Irish senate unanimously agreed to formally invite Pope Francis to Ireland.The only papal visit to the island was in September 1979 when more than a million people turned out to see Pope John Paul II in Dublin's Phoenix Park.A planned visit to Armagh was cancelled by the Vatican after the IRA murdered the Queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, and ambushed 18 soldiers a month earlier.The motion read: "This council notes that the Irish Seanad, on 19 February, unanimously passed a motion by senator David Norris, inviting Pope Francis to visit Ireland."Should the Holy Father accept that invitation, this council invites him, as a man of faith, peace and reconciliation, to visit the city of Belfast and calls upon the Northern Ireland Assembly to extend a similar invitation."Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became the first Latin American pope when he was elected in March 2013 to represent the world's 1.2bn-strong Catholic Church.

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