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.”
Nutter and Corbett’s mission was to invite Francis to attend 2015’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The Catholic event is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of attendees to the city; the pope’s presence could increase that number to a million. The pope traditionally attends but it’s not a given.
So does this mean Pope Francis won’t be coming to Philly? When will we know? And, heck, isn’t it a bit rude to let community leaders fly around the world with the expectation of meeting you, only to give them a very public brushoff?
The Daily News reports that officials were trying to keep a stiff upper lip:
Shortly after hearing the news, Gov. Corbett said it was just as well.
“We’re still each individually going to meet the Holy Father,” he said. “It’s not quite the same as a being in a private room, but with the church, you never know what’s going to happen.”
You really don’t.
UPDATE:8 am Here’s Governor Corbett’s tweet of the big moment:
— Governor Tom Corbett (@GovernorCorbett) March 26, 2014
And Mayor Nutter’s big moment:
— Karen Araiza (@KAraiza) March 26, 2014