Gov. Corbett, Mayor Nutter, Archbishop Chaput arrive in Rome

Watch the report from Action News' Brian Taff.
March 24, 2014 8:30:44 PM PDT
Governor Tom Corbett, Mayor Michael Nutter and Archbishop Charles Chaput arrived in Rome on Monday ahead of a meeting with Pope Francis in anticipation for the World Meeting of Families conference to be held in Philadelphia in 2015.

The group will be in Rome until March 27 to work with Vatican officials on the event and will meet with Pope Francis on Wednesday.

"The more we do things like this, the more real it seems," said Archbishop Chaput.

From a roof-top, overlooking the city of Rome, the Archbishop is well aware of the enormity of his task.

In two days, Chaput will meet with Pope Francis in his city with the hopes of urging the Pope to return the favor next year.

"You know, everyone in the world wants the Pope to come and visit. In fact, since it was announced that he may come to Philadelphia, you wouldn't believe the number of people who write and tell me they want him to come to dinner, they want him to come to this meeting," said Archbishop Chaput.

The World Meeting of Families, held every three years, was begun by Pope John Paul II back in 1994.

The last one, in 2012, drew hundreds of thousands to Milan, and more than one million to Pope Benedict's mass.

Given Pope Francis' popularity, his presence could fuel a much bigger turnout in Philadelphia. That's why this delegation is intent on putting the city's best foot forward and why Chaput has brought this group together.

"Well you know it's pretty important having a governor and a mayor come, and at the same time. There's a certain kind of freshness and energy that's a part of this group because of who is in it, and it kind of gives me courage, and encouragement," said Archbishop Chaput.

Particularly when the Governor and the Mayor are on different sides of the political spectrum. However about that, each man is quite clear, this event is not about politics and they are eager to begin the next phase of planning.

"Because this is a big logistical exercise that has to be done. You can't do this in one or two months. This is going to take the entire time from now until Sept of 2015," said Gov. Corbett.

"Our job and responsibility is to get as much detail and info as we can, meet as many people as we can, and the real work starts when we get back home," said Mayor Nutter.

On Monday, weary from an overnight, and sleepless flight, the delegation managed to cram in just a little sightseeing, soaking in Rome's history and marveling in it.

However, Tuesday, it's all eyes on the future, with a dose of papal persuasion.

Brian Taff will report from Rome all week on Action News.

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