Villiers backs Pope visit to Belfast

Villiers backs Pope visit to Belfast

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has given her backing for a Papal visit to Belfast.

It comes after councillors voted in favour of a motion inviting Pope Francis to the city.Ms Villiers was asked by about the possibility of a visit during Northern Ireland questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday.Lady Sylvia Hermon MP said: "Do you believe that, in fact, the security situation and indeed the political situation in Northern Ireland are conducive to a papal visit any time soon?"Ms Villiers replied: "The papal visit to London was extremely successful."I have every confidence that the security situation would mean that a papal visit to Northern Ireland would be entirely possible. And I believe - it's obviously a matter for the Executive whether such an invitation is extended - but I think it would a very positive step if the Pope were to visit NI."Belfast City Council on Tuesday night debated the motion asking the pontiff to come to the city if he ever visits the Republic of Ireland.It was passed with 30 councillors voting in favour, none against. Every unionist councillor abstained.

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