THE Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, enjoyed a rare meeting with Pope Francis in Rome this week.
It was the first time that a Church of Ireland bishop from Cork has ever met with the Pontiff in Rome.
The audience was facilitated by Bishop John Buckley, the Bishop of Cork and Ross, and comes just a few months after Bishop Buckley also enjoyed a meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis.
Bishop Colton described the 'immense honour' of attending the meeting in Rome.
He said, "It was an immense honour to attend the General Papal Audience on Wednesday, 10 May.
"To say that I was surprised to be given a seat at the front, with five bishops also visiting from other churches, and to be presented to and to speak with His Holiness, Pope Francis, would be an understatement."
"I also said that if he comes to Ireland that I hope he comes to Cork."
Bishop Colton paid tribute to the Bishop of Cork and Ross for facilitating the meeting.
He said, "In the course of our brief conversation, I brought him greetings from Cork, Cloyne and Ross.
"I am very grateful to Bishop John Buckley and his office, particularly Dr Tom Deenihan, for arranging to make all this possible."