Pope Francis, the reigning pontiff of the Catholic Church, has alerted the media to the fact that he plans a visit to the United States for 2015. The affable and controversial Pope announced that he will visit the city of Philadelphia in September as part of the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Hopefully my Philly friend Kenneth Griffin will be in attendance to report for us.
Francis revealed his intentions this past Monday, in the course of one of his routine morning announcements to the media that he issues each week. The reaction from Catholic authorities and faithful congregants alike was overwhelmingly positive. Francis has proven to be an extremely popular pontiff in the Western world, especially in the United States.
Should this visit to the United States actually take place next year, it will be the first time that Pope Francis has ever visited the Western super power nation. It will, in fact, be only the fourth time in all of Papal history that a currently reigning pontiff has set foot in this country. The visit by Francis is expected to draw thousands of pilgrims to the City of Brotherly Love.
In an interesting side note, Benedict, the former Pope and now Pope Emeritus, has also stated his intentions to visit Philadelphia for the same purpose. Whether or not Francis’ predecessor, who during his time as Pope proved to be a far less agreeable and sympathetic figure, will do so – or will be allowed to do so – remains unclear.