Vatican officials tour Philly ahead of conference

Written by The Associated Press | May 13, 2014 11:51 AM

(Philadelphia) -- Vatican officials are touring Philadelphia ahead of a major Roman Catholic gathering that the archbishop believes will include an appearance by the pope.

church pews

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput says he's personally convinced the pontiff is coming to the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.

But he stressed that nothing is certain until an official announcement from the Holy See. It would be Francis' first visit to the U.S.

Chaput's remarks came after local organizers unveiled the theme of the gathering: "Love is our mission: The family fully alive.'' The weeklong conference aims to strengthen family bonds.

Today's news conference included an appearance by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the head of the Vatican council helping to plan the event.

Philadelphia officials visited Paglia in Rome two months ago.

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