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Pope Francis confirms visit to Philadelphia next year

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope Francis has confirmed that, “God willing”, he will visit Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September next year.

The Pope made the remark during his opening address at a Vatican conference on marriage.

It is understood to be the first time Pope Francis has visited the US.

He will likely visit New York and Washington as well as Philadelphia during his visit. The World Meeting of Families will take place on September 21 – 25.

The last World Meeting of Families took place in Milan three years ago and was addressed by Pope Benedict XVI. The previous meeting, however, was organised in Mexico in 2009 and was not attended by the Pope.

This week’s Vatican conference on marriage, entitled the “Complementary of Man and Woman”, is being attended by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth as well as Anglican bishops NT Wright and Michael Nazir-Ali and Britain’s former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks.