Local Catholics Excited That Pope Could Possibly Stop in PA

Published 07/25 2014 06:19PM

Updated 07/25 2014 06:40PM

A statement Friday by the Archbishop of Philadelphia has Catholics across the country excited.

Archbishop Charles Chaput said Friday morning that Pope Francis has accepted his invitation to come to the United States next September.

While there is no confirmation from the Vatican, the idea is certainly raising the interest of the faithful.

As the Solemn Novena in honor of Saint Ann continued Friday at Saint Ann's Basilica in West Scranton, catholics reacted to the possibly of a papal visit.

"I hope that it happens and I hope that I'm around and maybe I can make it there to see him," Janice Cordier of Scranton said.

While it's important to stress that no confirmation has come from the Vatican, the Philadelphia Archbishop said Pope Francis would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

"I think it would be a great uplifting in spirituality," Ellio Domenick of Moosic said. "The morals of the United States right now have been in decline and this might give it an uplifting."

If the trip happens, it would be Pope Francis' first papal trip to the United States.

While Philadelphia only two hours south of the Scranton-area, many say they would make the trip.

"I would definitely take my 80-year-old dad down and see the pope," Mary Vincent of Mount Cobb said. "I think that would be great for him. He doesn't travel overseas so this would be an opportunity for him to see the pope."

Many at Friday's Novena say they believe Pope Francis has been a blessing for the church.

"I think his message is very inclusive, very progressive, the healing that I think is healing with the Catholic Church," Jack Woodbridge of Scranton said.

"I think that would be pretty great. I think, I hope the city (Philadelphia) is ready because I think people will probably come from all over to see him," Vincent said.

In a statement to clarify the Archbishop's remarks, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said the archbishop has frequently shared his confidence that Pope Francis would come based on their personal conversations.

The archdiocese says it would expect any official confirmation to come about six months before the event.

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