By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A high-level delegation representing the Philadelphia Archdiocese will head to the Vatican later this month for a meeting on the World Families Conference being planned here for the fall of 2015. It’s a conference that officials hope will bring Pope Francis to the United States for his first visit.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput will announce during a news conference today that Gov. Corbett, Mayor Nutter, and others will travel to the Vatican in a few weeks to meet with church officials about the World Families event.
During the visit, the delegation will attend the Wednesday weekly audience held by Pope Francis. Sources tell KYW Newsradio, it’s also possible the contingent could meet privately with the pope.
Pope Benedict XVI set Philadelphia as the site for the World Families Conference, an event usually attended by the pope. But, with his resignation last year, that decision falls to his successor. Archdiocesan officials say the pope has not yet committed to attend.
The Philadelphia delegation will be at the Vatican just days before President Obama visits Italy. The president plans to meet with the pope and extend an invitation for him to visit the U.S.