By Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be an “extraordinary moment for our city and an extraordinary honor” if Pope Francis visited the Big Apple in September 2015, when the World Meeting of Families takes place in Philadelphia.
De Blasio went to the Vatican and met July 21 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, “to relate how important it would be for the people of New York City to have the pope visit,” the mayor said.
Organizers of the international family gathering have been hoping Pope Francis will come to the event. On July 24 Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, the host archdiocese, announced the pontiff had accepted his invitation to attend, even though the Philadelphia Archdiocese still has not received official confirmation from the Vatican.
Other U.S. church and civic leaders remain hopeful the pontiff might add a couple of other U.S. cities to his itinerary.
In Rome de Blasio held a news conference following his visit with Cardinal Parolin. U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Ken Hackett also attended that meeting and joined de Blasio at the news conference. A transcript of their remarks to the media was posted on the website of the mayor’s office. Continue Reading »