Planning a Place for the Pope

Despite the guessing game regarding Pope Francis’s intentions to visit Philly next year — he almost certainly will, barring illness — officials are proceeding to plan for him. One unsettled item: Where he would speak.

“One million turned out on the Parkway in 1979 for the appearance of Pope John Paul II, so it’s easy to assume that if Pope Francis does come to Philadelphia, the Parkway would be the site,” says CBS Philly — but quickly adds that other spots are under consideration.

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Chaput: Pope Francis to Philly in 2015

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Shutterstock

[Update 11:50 a.m.] Well, maybe not.

6ABC reports:

A Vatican spokesperson told Action News that, despite reports of Pope Francis coming to Philadelphia in 2015, there has been no confirmation of his travel plans.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese also told Action News there has been no confirmation of the Pope’s visit. In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“There has been no official confirmation by the Vatican or The Holy See of Pope Francis’ attendance at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. We still expect that any official confirmation will come approximately six months prior to the event.

There’s more to the statement, suggesting that Chaput was speaking out of an abundance of confidence instead of any official confirmation. Ugh. Way to get our hopes up, guys.

[Original] Pope Francis has confirmed he will come to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in 2015, Catholic Philly reports.

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Chaput: “Good Reason” To Believe Pope Will Visit Philly in 2015

“Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said he has ‘good reason’ to believe Pope Francis will accept an invitation to visit Philadelphia in September 2015 during an international Catholic conference. Archbishop Chaput made the statement at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in New Orleans,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

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Source of Funds for Mayor’s Trip to Rome a Mystery

The Inquirer‘s Claudia Vargas gives the Philadelphia taxpayer a reason to feel good today: The mayor’s trip to Rome wasn’t paid for by the city!

But the source for the funds of that trip remains unclear, she writes today, and it doesn’t appear we’ll learn the source of the funds anytime soon. The mayor’s trip to Rome was underwritten by the nonprofit organizing the World Meeting of Families, held here — whether Pope Francis comes and rides SEPTA or not — in 2015.

But who funded that nonprofit? Some of the money came from the Philadelphia archdiocese, but that’s the only contributor to the nonprofit the Inquirer could get verified. Also, no one will say how much the trip to Rome cost. How much did that St. Joe’s Prep jersey cost, Mr. Mayor?!

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I’m Agnostic, and I’m Hoping Pope Francis Comes to Philadelphia

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Shutterstock

Let’s get something straight: I know the Pope is Catholic.

This means a few things: I never expect him to adopt the conventional American Liberal positions l hold. There will be no embrace of gay marriage by the church, there will be no permission for abortion, and Pope Francis’s term will not end with the ascension of Pope Mary I. We’re never going to agree on those things. It is what it is.

Still: I find that I’m increasingly a fan of this pope. That’s a bit weird to admit. I grew up among Mennonites who pretty explicitly traced their theological heritage to the Reformation; more recently I’ve simply been agnostic: God’s not really part of my life anymore. Catholicism doesn’t hold much appeal for me, generally. Pope Francis does, however — and so I am rooting for him to visit Philadelphia next year.

Why? His humility. And his attempts to bring the church in line with that quality.

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And Here Are 6 (More) Gifts Philadelphia Should Have Given Pope Francis

How I know Pope Francis is as close to a saint as anyone in the world: When Mayor Nutter presented him with six sports jerseys and a mini replica of the Liberty Bell, he did not immediately have him executed, but instead graciously accepted them. See? Look how happy he is pretending to be!

pope-jersey-excited

I think Mayor Nutter could have put a tiny bit more thought into this. So did Dan McQuade, who offered up some other ideas earlier today. But I think we can go even further here. If we really want to lure the Pope to Philly, we’re going to need to bring out the big guns, which, ironically, come out of much smaller outfits than pro sports teams. Here are my ideas for Philly papal presents—each one made right here in the city.

Click here. Because we’re better than sports jerseys.

Five Tips for Actually Meeting the Pope

Vatican Pope Family Meeting

Does it surprise you that Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett were blown off by the pope? Doesn’t surprise me at all.

There’s a pecking order to life. You blow off the financial services guy who calls during dinner. A beautiful girl gets hit on by an average looking guy and opts for the quarterback instead. Even I, a lowly small business owner, am often asked to meet for coffee or lunch with people that want to “network” or “learn more” or “share ideas” and most of the time I just have to say no. We all have to choose how we spend our time. The pope could be meeting and hearing the pleas of mayors and governors from the cities, towns, provinces and protectorates of hundreds of countries every minute of the day. But he chooses not to.

Clearly, the pope visiting Philadelphia is something that could be handled at a lower level without taking up the Pontiff’s time. The decision didn’t require a private meeting between the man on earth closest to God and two dudes from Pennsylvania. A little groveling from them at a public session sufficed.

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7 Presents Philadelphia Should’ve Given Pope Francis

Can you believe the mayor of Philadelphia went to the Vatican and gave the Pope a freaking football jersey?

Pope Francis actually got jerseys of six Philadelphia sports teams: The four major sports, a Union jersey — which is at least a sport that’s popular in both Italy and the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s native Argentina — and the St. Joe’s Prep football jersey above. Yes, the Pope now owns a Phillies jersey; he can dress like Macklemore.

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Pope? Nope.

Turns out Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett won’t get the private audience with Pope Francis today, after all.

AP reports: “Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other public and corporate leaders and their spouses would be presented to the pope during today’s regularly scheduled public audience in St. Peter’s Square. There, (a spokeswoman) said, each would be able to present gifts to Francis if they have them, and speak “a few words” with him. She did not explain the change in plans.”

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