Will the Pope visit Britain? 'Never say never', Vatican official declares

"Never say never" to the Pope visiting Britain, the Pope's foreign secretary told ITV News yesterday.

Pope Francis meets the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the Vatican.Reuters

Liverpool-born Archbishop Paul Gallagher said that Pope Francis "certainly might" visit Britain, and were he to do so, he would enjoy showing the Pontifix around his hometown in the north of England.

"I think he has enormous respect for Britain, our traditions," Gallagher added. "He seems to be really quite familiar with our literature for example and I think he likes Britain and the British as far as I can see."

Just two reigning Pope's have visited the UK in the past. The first state visit was made in September 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, while Pope John Paul II made a pastoral visit in 1982.

Gallagher also shared the Vatican's opinion on Britain's involvement in the EU.

While saying that the decision lies with the British electorate, on leaving the EU, he said: "we would see it as being something that is not going to make a stronger Europe. Better in than out."

His remark has angered the Leave.EU campaign.

A spokesperson from the organisation said: "I expect the British people will completely ignore and forget the Vatican Foreign Secretary's confessional.

"What on earth has EU membership got to do with the Roman Catholic church as a faith or the Vatican as a City State?"