PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Stigall talked with CBS 3’s Pat Ciarrocchi, who is Rome reporting on a delegation from Philadelphia including Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael Nutter hoping to negotiate a visit from Pope Francis next year, on Tuesday morning on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
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Philadelphia is already set to host the World Meeting of Families from September 22 to 27, 2015. The Pope usually travels to the event, but local officials are hoping to guarantee his presence at the first one held since assuming his position.
Ciarrocchi said this Pope has transcended religion to strike a chord with people all over the globe.
“Pope Francis has taken the Catholic world, and even the world beyond that, by storm with his really simple message of openness and love. And the people here in Rome are over the moon with him. They have his picture everywhere,” she said.
Ciarrocchi also said he has a different type of connection with his followers than his previous two predecessors did.
“There’s a different kind of warmth. John Paul really set out to change the world. Benedict, they always described as more scholarly, and I think on a personal level, really more shy. This man, though — it appears that he has been almost transformed by what the clerics here would call the ‘grace of the office,’” Ciarrocchi explained.
Ciarrocchi described the World Meeting of Families as a special coming together of individuals from every continent to discuss their faith and deal with issues directly affecting the family that the Pope’s presence would elevate to another level.
“There will be programming. There will be celebrating of families together. How do you have a strong Catholic family? How do you have a strong family? How do you have strong relationships? What roles do people play in the family? All of those kind of factors will be part of what this thing is about. The thing that is the game changer with this for Philadelphia is the fact that Francis wants to come to Philadelphia for this,” Ciarrocchi said.