The Inquirer reports Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett will join Archbishop Chaput in visiting the Vatican later this month, to begin preparations for the World Meeting of Families, a gathering of hundreds of thousands of Catholics that will next be held in Philly in 2015. Pope Francis is expected to attend that event.
Could Philadelphia be the host with the most?
You might wonder, since recent weeks and months seem to regularly bring news that the city is in contention for one high-profile event or another: Everything from the Olympics to a Super Bowl to a papal visit has been mentioned, but nothing’s been nailed down yet.
Is Philly ready to host all these high-profile events? Should we pick and choose? Should we quietly back out of contention with a “thanks but no thanks” smile on our faces? Or are we prepared to take on some of the world’s highest-profile events?
Here’s a rundown of the events we’re rumored to desire, and which would be the best fit.
You’ve probably seen the photos of Pope Francis’s “peace doves” being attacked by other birds in a dark omen that the end of the world is nigh, and the ascension of the Dark One is to begin. That prompted the following press release, fresh in our inbox, presented without commentary:
File this under sentences I never expected to type: I’m really excited that Pope Francis is definitely, probably, maybe visiting Philadelphia in 2015! I never thought I’d care about a papal presence in my own city, but Francis’s sorta-liberal views about homosexuality and penchant for selfies, has endeared him to cynics across the world—including recovering Catholics like me. (Not to mention big-time media outlets like Gawker who called him “Cool Pope Francis” and Rolling Stone who put him on the cover of their upcoming February issue.)
A pope hasn’t visited Philadelphia since 1979 when John Paul II came to town. Since the current pontiff is notably hipper than his staunchy predecessors (see: selfies), we owe it to him to show him a good time in our humble metropolis. Here, 10 must-visit Philadelphia sites that Pope Francis should definitely, probably, maybe see.
On Monday I shared that TIME was mulling over its shortlist of 2013 notables to decide who it would name “Person of the Year,” and our girl, the DOMA-fighting diva Edie Windsor made the cut. Today, the magazine announced that Pope Francis ultimately took the prize, because, as TIME writes:
“He makes masterly use of 21st century tools to perform his 1st century office. He is photographed washing the feet of female convicts, posing for selfies with young visitors to the Vatican, embracing a man with a deformed face. He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, ‘Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?’ Of gay people: ‘If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.’ To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’”
The publication late last month of Pope Francis‘s first papal exhortation – Evangelii Gaudium, or “Joy of the Gospels” – raised the hackles of some American conservatives, many of whom view the Pontiff’s call for universal justice and tolerance as ceding ground in the culture wars they have fought so hard to prosecute.
The hyperbole, which reached a crescendo over the Thanksgiving holiday, barely let up this week. Writing yesterday at Forbes.com, Louis Woodhill – who applies his own brand of “unconventional logic” to make laughably contrarian arguments like this one – exclaimed:
A few weeks ago, Pope Francis released a statement reprimanding the Catholic Church for focusing too much on homosexuality. The utterance sent shockwaves around the world, because who’s ever heard a pope say anything like that before? But you know who wasn’t surprised? Catholics. Quinnipiac University recently released results from a poll that says two-thirds of the U.S. Catholic population agrees with their divine leader. Reuters reports: