Pope Francis tells NBC reporter he intends to visit Philadelphia

While the Holy Father’s possible visit to Philadelphia for a congress on the family has been hedged about with cautious language, today we have greater clarity about what Francis wants.  From NBC:

Pope Francis Tells NBC News He’ll Pay Philadelphia a Visit

Pope Francis told NBC News he will be paying a visit to the city of brotherly love. NBC’s Anne Thompson spoke to the pope in Italian as the pontiff flew to Asia for his first-ever trip. [… to Asia, that is.] Thompson asked, in Italian, if the pope would travel to Philadelphia at any point.

“Si,” replied Francis, going on to mentioned the city’s World Family Day, due to take place in September 2015. The Vatican typically does not announce Papal Trips more than six months in advance. Past remarks made by the pope about travel plans, however, have proved to play out. The pontiff said in July 2013 that he wanted to go to Asia – which is exactly where he landed on Thursday. The pope is visiting Seoul for five days and has upcoming plans to travel to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The pope traveled to Seoul with around 65 journalists, greeting each one personally as they climbed aboard Alitalia Flight 4000. While the pope set separately, Thompson and her fellow journalists enjoyed a hearty meal of cannelloni with mint-scented ricotta and filet of beef. [But… what about los pobres?]

While Philadelphia may play up its name as the city of brotherly love when the pope travels there, the pontiff’s arrival in Asia on Thursday wasn’t met warmly all around. North Korea – which has a long history of making sure it is not forgotten during high-profile events in the South – fired five rockets into the sea as Francis arrived in Seoul. [Ho hum.] In his first speech of the trip, Pope Francis urged renewed efforts to forge peace on the war-divided Korean Peninsula and for both sides to avoid “fruitless” criticisms and shows of force.

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  1. JesusFreak84 says:

    The one event that would get Westboro and the LGBT lobby to protest together…

  2. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Pope Francis is going to visit Philadelphia? Wait a minute! The “ultra conservative” Charles Chaput is the Archbishop there. I thought “conservative” bishops were now out of favor with the new pope who (briefly) won the hearts of dissidents on the left and many of those who hate the Church.

  3. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I hope that the Holy Father has already consulted with the Bishop of Philadelphia, so that the Bishop doesn’t just hear about the visit from a news report or a reporter’s phonecall.

  4. JustaSinner says:

    Could he be bothered to jaunt up to Manhattan to stop by Holly Innocents? Maybe the faithful there could do a youtube campaign or go to petition.org and raise the issue?

  5. marcelus says:

    @Viejo de londres:
    They have already talked, no need to be sarcastic constantly about the Holy Father, Chaput went to Rome a few month s ago to invite him over.


  6. marcelus says:

    On Feb 7th Chaput was appointed by PF to the Council for the Laity:

    this is Chaput’s first appointment to a curial assignment. And it came, not from Bl. John Paul, not from Pope Benedict – but from Pope Francis. The very same Pope Francis who supposedly “has it in” for conservative prelates, if you believe the New York Times. Pope Francis also did something extraordinary by appointing Abp. Chaput as the only non-cardinal to be appointed to the dicastry.

  7. Lori Pieper says:

    Yup. Chaput has been touting this visit for months — looks like he was right.

    And “conservative” or not, Chaput seems to be a man after Francis’ own heart: he sold his episcopal mansion in Philly and is living in the seminary. (He did the same thing in Denver).

  8. robtbrown says:

    Lori Pieper says:
    And “conservative” or not, Chaput seems to be a man after Francis’ own heart: he sold his episcopal mansion in Philly and is living in the seminary. (He did the same thing in Denver).

    Abp Chaput–like the Pope–is a religious with a vow of poverty.

    As many have pointed out before, those old episcopal residences usually housed many priests. And they were anything but comfortable. A dear friend who married a rich girl some years ago said her parents’ home was beautiful, “but there is no place to relax and watch a football game on TV”.

  9. Vecchio di Londra says:

    marcelus – Pope Francis recently planned a visit to a protestant event in Caserta without consulting or even informing his brother Bishop of the diocese (as he would be duty bound to do) and left the matter in the air for a week until critical voices forced him to adapt his schedule to include a last-minute visit to the Catholics of Caserta. A visit that was then curtailed.
    That caused immense scandal. And that was the background to my previous comment.

    The link you give (the CatholicVote website on 13th Feb. 2014) says that
    “when Pope Francis visits the USA for the first time in 2015 for the World Meeting of Families, Abp. Chaput will be his host as the organizer!”
    But then in March, a month later, the Archbishop visited Rome in order to invite him, so it cannot have been so cut and dried by February.

    Archbishop Chaput then waited patiently until 24th July to announce that ‘the Pope had accepted his invitation’. http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-pope-francis-philadelphia-20140725,0,2579035.story
    Then a few days later, 29th July: ‘In a later statement, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia acknowledged there is “no official confirmation by the Vatican” but said his “personal conversations with the Holy Father” formed the basis for his confidence in saying the pope would attend. A Vatican statement issued Friday said the pope “has shown his willingness to participate” in the Philadelphia gathering but “has yet to launch any concrete plan or program regarding a trip” either to the United States or to Mexico, where a visit is also rumored…Catholic officials are treating the potential visit as unconfirmed until there is “some public announcement,” said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, vicar general for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.’

    In response to the NBC reporter’s conversation with the Pope, “the archdiocese says he has yet to confirm his plans.Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman Kenneth A. Gavin says that official confirmation won’t come until about six months before the event.”

    So after many months of to-ing and fro-ing, the Vatican, the Archbishop and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have not been given permission to say there will even *be* a papal visit, but an NBC reporter has been told by the Pope in a casual ‘Si’, that it will go ahead.

    It would be understandable for the Pope to say (as Pope Benedict did as soon as Philadelphia was announced as the venue) that he ‘intends’ or ‘plan’s to visit the Conference. Everyone understands that matters of papal health might then intervene to prevent the visit. But the Pope still hasn’t confirmed his visit to the Archdiocese: to let his confirmation leak out via a one-word reply to an NBC news reporter – doesn’t look good.

    Confused and rather impolite papal news management. And that was my point.

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