OK, OK, let there be no more doubt: Pope Francis expects to be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in 2015.
ABC News reports, in fact, that he said this week he wants Philadelphia to be one stop in a three-city U.S. tour — adding Washington D.C. and New York to the list. (Typical tourist, packing ’em all in together.)
Asked about his 2015 travel plans, he said: "Next year I'd like to go to Philadelphia for the family meeting. I was invited by the president of the United States, by the American parliament and the secretary-general of the United Nations." He then added: "So maybe the three cities together."
There are obviously some protocols to jump through — Philadelphia has been in a state of "will he or won't he?" for several months — but it appears the pope's own plans are to be in Philly next year. Should be a big, Catholic party.