By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Vatican is considering more than a dozen sites in the Philadelphia area as stops for Pope Francis when he arrives here at the end of September.
The list is a tightly guarded secret, at least for now.
Fred Stein, senior producer of the Philadelphia-based Creative Group, has been involved for a couple of months with the Vatican advance team identifying potential places for the pope to visit outside of his obligations for the World Meeting of Families events on the parkway.
“We visited 14 different sites to talk to them about any potential for either a visitation or anything related to those sites.” said Stein. “Every single representative has been pro-active in trying to, of course, entice us.”
Stein, who’s in charge of logistics for the pope’s events away from the World Meeting activities on the Parkway, says a lot has already gone in to planning for possibilities.
“We’ve put in for permits to close streets and work motorcades.” said Stein. “We’re working collectively with security to make sure that whatever the potentials are that when they say: ‘Okay, here’s the final schedule.’ It’s not like we start from square one, we’re already there.”
Stein says it’s likely to be several more weeks before Francis’ full schedule is released.