Will Pope Francis visit Philadelphia next year?

In this photo made available by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, PopeFrancis delivers his speech as he meets the Cardinals for the first time after his election, at the Vatican, Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
January 25, 2014 11:07:20 AM PST
There is growing optimism that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia next year.

Vatican sources have indicated that the Pontiff will likely attend the World Meeting of Families here in September of 2015.

Even though nothing is official, the planning for the visit has already begun.

"We do not have official word that the pope is coming, but we are planning as though he will be here and we have every hope he will be joining us in September, 2015," said Donna Crilley-Farrell, the executive director for the World Meeting of Families.

Pope Francis may also speak to the United Nations General Assembly during his journey to the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI announced in 2012 that Philadelphia would host the triennial event. At the time, he said he looked forward to meeting the region's Catholics. He attended the seventh convocation of families in Milan.

Benedict has since retired. Pope Francis' schedule remains unclear.

Traditionally, papal trips abroad are confirmed a few months before the journey.


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