Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Britain this year in the first papal visit to the UK since John Paul II in 1982.
He is expected to visit Birmingham and Scotland. Dates for the trip have not been set, but officials at the Vatican and in the UK told the BBC the visit was likely to take place in September.
Further details are expected early in March.
The Pope was formally invited to visit Britain by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last February. Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy also invited him to visit Scotland.