Media reports surrounding the pontiff’s current visit to the UK have suggested that the Pope could pay a surprise visit to the international Ecclesiastical Conference in Dublin in 2012, with a trip around the country, including his home Diocese in Kilfenora, also a possibility.
The Pope is nominally the Bishop of the old Diocese of Kilfenora following a papal dictate issued from the Vatican in 1883.
This means that as well as being the leader of the Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict is also the Bishop of Kilfenora and the Parish Priest of Liscannor.
The proposed Papal visit comes after a poor uptake in the Irish ticket allocation for the Pope’s visit to the UK.
Less than 1,000 of the 2,500 tickets allocated to Irish Catholics have been taken up.
This, along with calls for more Papal attention in the wake of clerical abuse scandals, is believed to have prompted the proposed visit.