Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey, has called for the NI Assembly to back his call to invite Pope Francis to visit Derry in 2018.
An Irish Papal visit is expected following the announcement that the Catholic World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin in three years time.
And the Derry politician wants the people of the North West to extend the hand of welcome to Pope Francis in anticipation of a visit by the Pontiff to the city.
Speaking to the Journal Mr. Ramsey said: “I think Derry, the North and the entire Island would benefit from a Papal visit to Derry.
“I think Derry in particular would benefit from the vision of the man and from his passion for compassion.”
More than a million people attended a public Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Philadelhpia last week. Derry nun Sister Deirdre Mullan was one of the people who heard him speak in New York.
Mr. Ramsey said: “Derry has proven time and time again that it is fantastic location for such large events and they wouldn’t come much larger than a visit from Pope Francis. I would also think there is a lot to be gained in terms of healing a divided society with his message of love and paternity.”
“Of course I’m sure Derry man and Catholic Primate of All Ireland Archbishop, Eamon Martin, would only be delighted to give the pope a tour of his home parish.”
“I plan on bringing this to the floor of the Assembly when normal business resumes which hopefully will be in the short and not long term.”