PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The mayor of Philadelphia says he is very optimistic about the prospect of Pope Francis visiting the city.
Mayor Michael Nutter said Friday that although the Vatican won't announce a decision until next year, officials are planning as if the pontiff will come.
Philadelphia is hosting the World Meeting of Families in September 2015. Popes have attended five of the past seven such gatherings in locations around the globe.
Nutter just returned from a trip to Rome with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP'-yoo) and local conference organizers.
They met briefly with the pope on Wednesday and asked him to come to Philadelphia. The mayor says Francis "seemed not only joyful to see us, but quite well aware why we were there."