Request to invite Pope Francis to address Seanad
Norris hopeful since Mandela visited Mansion House of no particular renown
Independent Senator David Norris said he had written to the Committee on Procedure and Privileges to give priority to an invitation to Pope Francis to address the Seanad. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Mr Norris, a member of the Anglican Church, said he had written to the Committee on Procedure and Privileges to give priority to such an invitation.
He hoped to bring an all-party motion to the Seanad early in the new year for a debate on the issue.
Mr Norris said people would ask if he would address the Seanad.
“I think he might,” he said. “Nelson Mandela came to the Mansion House, which was scarcely an international location of any great renown.”
He added that “this pope has an unusual background in the fact that he spent several months in Dublin in Milltown College. So he knows this country, this city and he also knows the very special place throughout history that Ireland has played in the development of Christianity and in particular the Roman Catholic Church.”
Mr Norris said “international political figures have unanimously, entirely in my opinion, let us down because they never think of values. Here we have somebody who is expressing values of economic justice, of decentralising of the Vatican, of attacking power, of speaking about economic justice,” he said.
Independent Feargal Quinn said that “even just issuing an invitation would greatly increase the stature of the House”.