Still no official confirmation, but Pope Francis again mentions Philly visit

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 Pope Francis welcomes Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, left, at the Vatican in  March. Philadelphia officials have made their case to the Vatican for Pope Francis to visit the U.S. next year, saying his

Pope Francis welcomes Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, left, at the Vatican in March. Philadelphia officials have made their case to the Vatican for Pope Francis to visit the U.S. next year, saying his "message needs to be heard" during a massive church celebration of the family planned for Philadelphia. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

From the mouth of the pope, himself? Not enough.

Even if Pope Francis tells you, flat-out, that he wants to visit the City of Brotherly Love next September as the Philadelphia Archdiocese hosts the World Meeting of Families, you cannot take that to the bank.

The city’s Catholic community got excited when the Pope said just that at a news conference during his recent trip to Asia, but official confirmation from the Vatican is not expected until six months prior to the event.

“We have been planning all along as if the Holy Father will be coming,” said archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin. “When you’re looking at an event of this magnitude you have to plan from the onset as if the pope would be there, because the planning is just massive in scale for something like this.”

If the Pope comes to say Mass during the final day of the World Meeting of Families, at least a million people are expected to attend.

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