“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.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia toured Philadelphia on Tuesday, giving the city the once-over on behalf of the Vatican as preparations continue for 2015′s World Meeting of Families, which is expected — hoped? dreamed? fervently believed — to draw Pope Francis, as well as thousands of Catholic families, to Philadelphia.
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?!
Can you believe the mayor of Philadelphia went to the Vatican and gave the Pope a freaking football jersey?
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) March 27, 2014
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.
Mayor Michael Nutter is in Rome with a delegation — including Governor Tom Corbett and his wife, Susan — stumping for a papal visit to Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families meeting here in September 2015. (Hopefully, he mentioned my bet with God to attend church every Sunday for a year if the Pope rides SEPTA, which I figure would seal the deal.)
Today, though, Nutter talked to the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome, attempting to get the Pope to visit Philadelphia. We have a transcription of his remarks. Sadly, it does not end with “XOXO, Philadelphia.”
I have the great honor and privilege to make a brief statement in support of our fervent hope that His Holiness might visit Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.
As a loyal son of Philadelphia, born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, educated by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Transfiguration of Our Lord Elementary School and inspired by the Jesuits to be a man for others at St Joseph’s Preparatory high school, the Jesuit High School in Philadelphia, I am often called upon to discuss the exceptional qualities of my great city.
It continues after the jump.
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.”