The New Pope Will Inherit a Prepaid Trip to the USA


While many of us are focusing on who the next pope will be, an announcement made yesterday gives us a big clue about when we will first have the opportunity to see the new pope on American soil — whoever he turns out to be:

“His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, announces the official dates for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will be celebrated in the United States for the first time in its history. It is expected to draw tens of thousands from around the world to the City of Philadelphia.

…Subsequently, in a letter dated January 11, 2013, the Secretary of State officially confirmed that the actual dates for this VIII World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia will be September 22-27, 2015.”

Philadelphia is an excellent choice and richly deserving of the honor of hosting the new pontiff and the World Meeting of Families.

Pope Benedict had attended part of the last World Meeting of Families in Milan (pictured at right) and said at the time that he intended to attend the next meeting in 2015.

That promise’s fulfillment now falls to whoever his successor will be.

You can learn more about the World Meeting of Families at their official website and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia homepage.

The closing Mass for the last World Meeting of Families had nearly a million people in attendance. This upcoming meeting will probably be far smaller, but the interest in and chance of seeing the new pope could add to the draw.

My recommendation? Book travel and lodging early.

Oh and incidentally, when it comes to being a leading voice for families, Archbishop Charles Chaput and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia were first to endorse the newly-announced March for Marriage in addition to always being a very active presence at the annual March for Life.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author


Thomas Peters, 33, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. From 2010-2016 he served as an advisor to He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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