6ABC reports: “Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael Nutter arrived in Rome on Monday ahead of a meeting with Pope Francis in anticipation for the World Meeting of Families conference to be held in Philadelphia in 2015. They, along with Archbishop Charles Chaput, will be in Rome until March 27 to work with Vatican officials on the event.”
Newsworks reminds us: ” They’re trying to convince Pope Francis to come to Philadelphia next year.”
“The sheer possibility that Pope Francis might come to Philadelphia could obviously enhance the World Meeting of Families event,” Nutter said. “It will be a spectacular event in any manner, there are just a lot of details.”
Nutter says he doesn't expect the Pope to commit to the event at this point.
"It's unreasonable to expect that 18 months or so in advance that someone like Pope Francis is going to say they are going to any place in particular," he said. "President Obama doesn't make that kind of announcement either."
And, Chaput says the “heavy hitters” will really go to work during Wednesday morning’s private session with the pope.
“The meetings, from our perspective, are lobbying meetings for what we hope will be good for Philadelphia and that’s why the mayor and the governor are going with us to it,” Chaput says.
Governor Corbett says, as a Roman Catholic, he’s a little nervous about meeting the Holy Father, but won’t lose his focus. Has he practiced what he might say?
“No, I haven’t rehearsed the comments for the pope yet at all and obviously there’s a protocol when you meet with a pope so we all, at least I want to read them, my wife wants to read that,” Corbett says.