Corbett meets with Pope in public, after original plans change

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Mar 26, 2014 2:00 PM

(Rome) -- Governor Corbett, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the rest of delegation from Pennsylvania were supposed to meet privately with Pope Francis today in Vatican City. Even though the details changed, the governor says he was more than pleased with the results.


Photo by Tim Lambert/witf

The meeting was instead held in public, not in private, as originally planned. That was to allow media access, according to the Governor. However, late Tuesday night the delegation received word that their meeting would not be at the residence, but at the Wednesday public audience that popes have held for decades in St. Peter's Square, typically before tens of thousands of people.

It comes ahead of the 2015 World Meeting for Families, expected to bring at least 300,000 people to Philadelphia.

Governor Corbett is confident Pope Francis will attend as part of his first U-S visit.

"Can't tell you what the exact answer is right now, but I feel very optimistic that Pope Francis will make his first visit to America, right now, from what we can tell, in Philadelphia. I really feel confident of that. That still remains to be seen, not a hundred percent at this point."

He says while in Italy, he's also trying to recruit a company to locate in southeastern Pennsylvania, and is competing against one other state.

"And when they said that they wanted to come meet me, I said 'Well I'm going to be in Italy, how about if I meet you?' So we're going to go meet with them tomorrow and Friday, and then we're going to return on Sunday."

Corbett wouldn't name the company.

The governor spoke to Scott Lamar on witf's Smart Talk this morning. You can hear the interview again at 7 tonight, or on demand here.

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