Pope Benedict XVI made a commitment to be here in September 2015 for a World Families Conference.
Philadelphia’s Archbishop will not be attending the conclave in Rome, because he hasn’t been elevated to the post of cardinal just yet.
Father Frank Berna, director of graduate theology and ministry at LaSalle University, says the new pope has to take the pulse of the people, not just those who are loyal to the church, but those who have fallen away.
Vatican watchers and even some of the cardinals themselves say the two biggest issues facing the new pope are abuse and administration.
The announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation comes as a surprise to Vatican insiders, and especially to Philadelphia-area Catholics.