Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

No Pope visit for Northern Ireland

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI is to visit the UK in 2010

Pope Benedict XVI will not come to Northern Ireland as part of his visit to the UK, it has been confirmed.

The Pope's four-day visit in September will include a meeting with the Queen in Edinburgh.

He will not visit Northern Ireland as it comes under a separate bishops' conference and he will not visit Wales because of time constraints.

A papal visit to Northern Ireland was rumoured, although the Catholic Church dismissed this as "pure speculation".

It will be the first papal visit to the UK since 1982 when Pope John Paul II came to England for a pastoral visit.

Huge crowds greeted Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Irish Republic in 1979, but security concerns meant he was not able to come to Northern Ireland.

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