By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A high-level delegation from Philadelphia arrives in Rome today to begin three days of meetings at the Vatican, that includes a private audience with Pope Francis.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael Nutter are leading a group to planning meetings with Vatican officials for the World Meeting of Families scheduled here in September 2015.
And, Chaput says the “heavy hitters” will really go to work during Wednesday morning’s private session with the pope.
“The meetings, from our perspective, are lobbying meetings for what we hope will be good for Philadelphia and that’s why the mayor and the governor are going with us to it,” Chaput says.
Governor Corbett says, as a Roman Catholic, he’s a little nervous about meeting the Holy Father, but won’t lose his focus. Has he practiced what he might say?
“No, I haven’t rehearsed the comments for the pope yet at all and obviously there’s a protocol when you meet with a pope so we all, at least I want to read them, my wife wants to read that,” Corbett says.
Chaput says he’s reasonably confident Francis, like his predecessors who attended past World Families events, will come.