Vatican Official Tours Philly Ahead of 2015 Meeting

The question, as always: Will the pope come?

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 theme of the event was announced by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, CBS Philly reports:

“Ladies and gentlemen, the theme for the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia 2015, is ‘Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,’ ” Chaput  said.  He was joined during a press conference on Independence Mall by the high-level delegation that went to Rome  several weeks ago to meet with the pope.  That included Gov. Tom Corbett, Mayor Michael Nutter, and a host of others.

Chaput says all families, even non-traditional families, are welcome.

“It’s primarily a Catholic gathering, so we’ll be talking about our Catholic understanding of marriage too but not in a way that would be offensive to other people.”

But will the pope really come? AP adds:

Archbishop Charles Chaput said he’s “personally convinced” the pontiff is coming to the World Meeting of Families in September 2015. But he stressed that nothing is certain until an official announcement from the Holy See, which won’t come for several months.

“There’s every indication he is coming,” Chaput said.

Paglia wouldn’t speculate on which other cities Francis might visit during a U.S. tour. Paglia plans to visit the United Nations in New York on Thursday for the International Day of Families.

The Inquirer concludes: “Paglia’s sightseeing will continue Wednesday: He is scheduled to visit Roman Catholic High School, the shrine of St. John Neumann and the Convention Center, before proceeding to New York and the United Nations.”