Philadelphia religious leader headed to Vatican to brief papal aides

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 Bishop Dwayne Royster of the group Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER) will join about a dozen of his colleagues from various U.S. religious groups to talk to aids to Pope Francis about his trip to America. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Bishop Dwayne Royster of the group Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER) will join about a dozen of his colleagues from various U.S. religious groups to talk to aids to Pope Francis about his trip to America. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A group of American ministers is making a pilgrimage to the Vatican next week to meet about Pope Francis’ trip to the United States.  

Bishop Dwayne Royster of the group Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER) will join about a dozen of his colleagues from various U.S. religious groups to talk to aids to Pope Francis about his trip to America.

“Helping him to understand in really clear ways that the perennial sin of America is racism,” said Royster. “And although we want to hear him talk about climate change and the economy of exclusion, we can’t really have a conversation about any of these issues without talking about the issue of race.”

Royster says even though he’s from the United Church of Christ, he sees the pope as a person who deserves respect.

“He’s a great moral and religious leader in this world, whose voice is having impact and  transformational power in countries and placesall around the world,” Royster said.

The group was invited by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, who heads a commission charged by the pope to overhaul church administration.

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