Vatican City, Sep 24, 2013 / 23:04 pm America/Denver (CNA).
At an Oct. 11 audience with the Pope, European Parliament president Martin Schulz is expected to formally invite Pope Francis to address the legislative body of the European Union.
The news of Schulz’ visit is still not official, but it has been confirmed by a European Union source who spoke to CNA Sept. 24 under condition of anonymity.
The source maintained that Schulz' audience is already scheduled, though “due to unforeseen circumstances these kind of things can change quite late,” and this is probably a reason why the audience has not yet been made official.
Schulz had already extended an informal verbal invitation to the Pope to visit the European Parliament at his inaugural Mass as Bishop of Rome on March 19.
Both of Schulz' predecessors – Hans-Gert Pöttering of Germany and Jerzy Buzek of Poland – invited Benedict XVI to address the European Parliament, but he never took up the invitation. The only previous occasion when a Pope addressed the institution was Blessed John Paul II in 1988.