Papal Mass in Philadelphia expected to draw 1.5 million pilgrims
More than 1.5 million people are expected for the Mass with Pope Francis in Philadelphia this September, said organisers of the next World Meeting of Families.
A high-level delegation from Philadelphia, led by Archbishop Charles J Chaput, was in Rome as of Monday to meet Vatican officials, review some of the planning and promote the week-long congress.
Underlining the ecumenical and interfaith element of the meeting, Archbishop Chaput said 30 per cent of the speakers would be non-Catholic.
In response to a reporter’s question, Bishop McIntyre said one session was planned on families with homosexual members; a man with same-sex attraction will speak and so will his mother.
The archbishop said the “most important thing that can happen” at the congress “is conversion”, so that “families can become a force of change for good”.
The event is operating on a $45 million budget, of which $30 million has already been raised, said Archbishop Chaput. A large portion of the budget was allotted for security and clean-up after the major events, he said.