Kolkata (Agencies): Pope Benedict XVI is interested in coming to India, but may not be able to visit as many places in the country as his predecessor John Paul-II did 25 years ago, a top church functionary said on Sunday.

"Whenever I meet the Pope, I talk to him about visiting India. Quite a number of Indians were his students when he was teaching before becoming the Pope. He is interested to come to India to see his students," Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi told a gathering of Catholic religious and lay workers at the social service centre of the Archdiocese here.

Recalling that Pope John Paul-II had visited 14 places during his visit to India, Toppo said Pope Benedict XVI may not be able to visit as many places owing to his age and a limited itinerary may disappoint the faithful living in places left out of the tour.

"Maybe, if Mother Teresa is canonised in India, probably he can come here for the canonisation ceremony," Toppo said.

Pope Benedict's personals envoy, Cadinal Murphy O'Connor, who is here to commemorate Pope John Paul-II's visit to India 25 years ago, said, "If (Benedict) is healthy enough to come to India, I would say yes."