Will the Pope Shame City Hall Into Fixing Its Atrocious Prison Problem?

The Cool Pope is visiting Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility during his trip to the city this fall, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

When Pope Francis tours the jail, he’ll find a prison system that has been sued over its crammed conditions almost non-stop for the past 45 years. In fact, a judge ordered the city to build CFCF in the nineties in order to alleviate overcrowding.

Today, the city’s prison system houses nearly 8,200 inmates — about 1,700 more than it was built to hold. At CFCF, 400 to 500 prisoners live in “triple cells,” which are jam-packed, three-man cells that are intended to hold only one or two people. Read more »

Pope’s Philadelphia Schedule Unveiled

pope-beer-garden

When the pope visits Independence Mall, maybe he can drop in on the nearby beer garden?

If you want to meet Pope Francis when he visits Philadelphia, your best bet may be to get arrested.

Pope Francis will make a visit to Northeast Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility during his visit to the city for the World Meeting of Families this September, officials revealed this morning. The Vatican has released the pope’s itinerary for his two days in Philadelphia on September 26th and 27th.

The pope’s itinerary is in Italian, so we took the liberty of doing a rough translation of it (into English, even!) for you here. Read more »

Gay Activists: We’ll Protest Pope’s Visit If We Want

One day before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling on same-sex marriage, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said that gay people can attend Pope Francis’ visit to the city this fall — but only if they don’t use it to protest the Catholic church.

The response from gay activists in Philadelphia? Try to stop us.

Take it from “someone who’s been protesting since 1969,” said Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. “If someone wants to protest, they will find a way.”

Read more »

In Rome, Pope and Mayor Nutter Share a Moment

The Philadelphia delegation to the Vatican this week didn’t really expect to get face time with Pope Francis, even though he’ll be visiting the city in September.

They got a moment — but apparently just a moment, as the pope visited the crowds outside the Vatican today.

Read more »

Andrea Bocelli, Philly Orchestra to Perform for the Pope

Photo of Andrea Bocelli (left) from Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

Photo of Andrea Bocelli (left) from Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

The musical lineup for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in September is beginning to be announced. Word about the first three acts performing at the Festival of Families came from the Vatican this morning, where Mayor Nutter and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput are currently visiting to plot out details about the Pope’s stay.

Read more »

Nutter Heads Back to Vatican

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Mayor Nutter meets Pope Francis during an earlier visit to the Vatican.

 

Mayor Nutter is leading a trip to the Vatican this week as officials on both sides continue their planning for Pope Francis‘s September visit to Philadelphia.
Read more »

Pope Calls Earth “An Immense Pile of Filth”

Pope Francis, everyone’s favorite cool pope, released an encyclical today, Laudato si. The encyclical is in English, fortunately, and it’s all about the environment and how rich people are greedy.

Two years ago, I wrote about how strange it was the Catholic Church actually elected a Jesuit as pope. What would the papacy of a priest from “the smart-aleck wise-asses of the priesthood” be like? I must admit, Pope Francis has exceeded all expectations.

Here’s how Pope Francis’ encyclical (an encyclical is basically a letter about how to be a good Catholic) begins:

“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”

Uhhh… okay, it gets better from there. The next line is, “This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.” This pope is a badass environmentalist! Not even Captain Planet would use language that strong. Read more »

The Pope’s Really Big Visit

What if Pope Francis visited and everybody came?

You’ve heard on Monday how the pope’s visit is expected to bring Philadelphia to a standstill — overwhelming SEPTA, clogging roads, and forcing everybody in town to walk miles just to get anywhere. Well, those projections are based on the notion that Philadelphia will get a mere 1 to 2 million visitors to see the pontiff.

PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa says we might want to prepare for even more visitors. Read more »

SEPTA and the Pope’s Visit: Everything You Need to Know

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Thinking of sticking around town when Pope Francis comes to call on Sept. 26th and 27th, at the end of the World Meeting of Families?

If you’re not set on seeing His Holiness, might I recommend that you plan a visit somewhere else and rent out your place to one of the 1.5 million or so visitors who will also descend on the city that weekend. Leave your guests these pieces of advice, though — and follow them yourself if you are sticking around town: Read more »

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