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Archbishop Chaput, Vatican official outline plans for World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015

Catholic World News - March 25, 2014

At a March 25 press conference in Rome, looking forward to the 8th World Meeting for Families that will be held in Philadelphia next year, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said that the gathering should attract “participation by all the diverse cultures, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.”

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia observed that the September 2015 event will be held at “a particularly important time for the Church.” He reminded his audience that Pope Francis recently convened a consistory of cardinals to discuss the family, and the family will again be the focus of a special meeting of the Synod of Bishops in October of this year, and the regular Synod meeting in October 2015. Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput said that the World Meeting for Families would bring excitement to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “But these events also become moments of grace,” he added. “They have the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, the whole public community.” “The Church in Philadelphia is also very much a community in need of renewal in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis of the past decade,” the archbishop acknowledged. In that respect, he said, the local community exemplifies the Church as a whole: a pilgrim community working toward conversion and renewal.

Archbishop Chaput said “we’re bringing together the best experts we can enlist to address the pastoral, social, economic and cultural challenges that families now face. In the end, our goal is simple. We want to help families strengthen their family life in very practical ways.”

Although Pope Francis is expected to travel to Philadelphia to attend the meeting, the two archbishops did not address the prospects for a papal visit during their presentations. The Vatican has not yet confirmed the Pope's plan to attend.

Archbishop Chaput had been in Rome during the past week, accompanied by civic officials from Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, meeting with Vatican officials to advance planning for the event.

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