15 Mar Pope Francis’ Phila. message
Two years ago, a relatively unknown Argentine cardinal appeared on the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica and was introduced as Pope Francis. Since that time, he has become one of the world’s most beloved figures. And in just six months, he will make his inaugural visit to the United States – a trip that will certainly add to his popularity, but more meaningfully, will help continue to renew an American church that is eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Like much of the world, Americans of all backgrounds seem to be taken by his young papacy. The latest figures from the Pew Research Center reveal that Francis has garnered a 90 percent favorability approval among U.S. Catholics and 70 percent among the general public.
While in the United States in September, he will address a joint session of Congress in Washington and the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
The real pinnacle of his visit, however, will be Philadelphia’s World Meeting of Families, which Francis has chosen as the primary cause of his journey. Like his recent predecessors, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Francis believes that strengthening family life is essential – not just for the Catholic Church but for society as a whole.