Unionists could not welcome a visit by the pope to Northern Ireland at this time, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said.
Archbishop Sean Brady has asked the pope to visit Northern Ireland
An invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to come to Northern Ireland was issued by Archbishop Sean Brady during a visit to Rome last week.
It has also been reported that a visit by the Queen could coincide with Pope Benedict's trip.
However, Mr Campbell said the idea was bizarre and added that he suspected political motivations.
"People are looking over the next few months and are assuming that sufficient progress is going to be made to announce a deal," the East Londonderry MP said.
"(They) are then saying - what would be a tremendously symbolic way of promoting a deal and putting a seal on it and they have come up with this fantasist idea.
"I cannot see how it can possibly work."