“Over the coming days the Holy Father will address young people and the elderly and we can also expect reflections on the value of Catholic education and on the relationship between faith and civil society, and amongst religious denominations.  The relevance of his messages this week will no doubt have a significant and long-term resonance with society both in our neighbouring island as well as with us here in Ireland.”

Cardinal Brady continued “The Holy Father’s visit will culminate in the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham on Sunday next, 19 September. Cardinal Newman holds an important place in Irish history as, on the invitation of the Irish Bishops, he set up a Catholic University in Dublin in 1852.

“The theme of this papal visit is ‘Heart speaks onto heart’, the phrase Cardinal Newman chose as the motto for his coat of arms. This important and exciting visit will allow many people to meet and see Pope Benedict, a gifted theologian, but also a deeply pastoral man who loves dearly the people of God.”