(Vatican Radio) A delegation from Philadelphia, Pa. is in Rome this week, making final preparations for the upcoming World Meeting of Families, scheduled to take place in the US city at the end of this coming September. Led by Philadelphia’s archbishop, Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., and the mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, the delegation is working with the Pontifical Council for the Family and other Vatican offices to finalize details of what will be Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States since his election.
Mayor Nutter told Vatican Radio his city and its people are ready to welcome Pope Francis.
“It is a tremendous honor to be the host city for the World Meeting of Families,” said Nutter, “and of course, for the visit of Pope Francis.” The mayor went on to say, “Our plans are basically in place: to anticipate over a million people, perhaps as many as 1.5 million,” adding, “the logistics, the security, the transportation,” are all going very well. “We’re very excited,” said Mayor Nutter, “we’re ready.”
Click below to hear Mayor Michael Nutter's extended conversation with Vatican Radio's Massimiliano Menichetti
Asked about the difficulties in planning such an event, Mayor Nutter said, “Well, maybe not so much, ‘difficulties’, but certainly some challenges: first and foremost, Pope Francis is tremendously popular around the world and certainly in the United States of America – and with that, there will be a lot of people; we need to make sure, first and foremost, that [Pope Francis] is safe and secure; at the same time, as we all know, Pope Francis really enjoys [having] access to the people – he wants to be near people, he wants people to be around him, to talk with him, to touch him, and [so that] he can shake hands with them – that’s a bit of a challenge, but we will work it out – and most of the time, the Pope will get to do whatever he wants to do.”
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