Francis’ busy itinerary on his final day in US

He appealed for unity and family love, as thousands of people gathered at the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.


DiDomenico, of nearby Drexel Hill, who came with his wife, Karen, said: “We were here at a Mass that the pope celebrated”.

Pope Francis received a warm welcome Sunday morning from bishops at the seminary where he had been staying during his Philadelphia visit.

With a huge gilded crucifix behind him, Francis told his listeners that their presence itself was “a kind of miracle in today’s world“, an affirmation of the family and the power of love. Some people didn’t make it in to see the Pope. Some leaned in and asked for his prayers.

That once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he said, became a “very big and life-changing experience”.

She wasn’t planning to attend this mass, but says she was given tickets last minute on Thursday. “I think it’s a great experience for everybody”.

Thomas Coorey, a dentist and father of four visiting Philadelphia from Sydney, called Francis “the most inspirational and awesome pope that could breathe life into this church of mine”.

Doug Bauman and his wife, Julie, stood out in the crowd for their homemade mitres, the tall hats that bishops wear.”They were built out of duct tape and poster board”, said Doug Bauman, 38, from Indianapolis.

During the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis urged the gathering to perform acts of kindness and love, particularly towards children.

“God weeps” over what was done to the youngsters, he said. “The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held secret”.

Both Page and Aquinas graduate fellowship member Danna Hargett GS explained that the delegation to visit the Pope is not just a trip but a pilgrimage. That underscored the Vatican’s argument that child molestation is not unique to the church.

Dozens of Catholic clergyman have have been accused of sexually abusing children and providing cover for the abusers over the last two decades.

David Clohessy, the director of SNAP at the national level, elevated his criticism even further.

Francis has said he will create a new tribunal to prosecute bishops who fail to report allegations of abuse to police.

He arrived at the open-air service after an extended tour by popemobile, greeting the up to 1.5 million people expected to throng the streets of Philadelphia to catch a glimpse of the popular pontiff. Ireland is ground zero for the church’s sexual abuse crisis outside of the U.S. The overwhelmingly Catholic country also recently legalized gay marriage.

They will also give him an engraved plaque and a basket of fruit that comes from Curran-Fromhold’s orchard, according to The Washington Post.

Leading up to the Pope’s USA trip, there was wide speculation over whether he would meet with victims and address the crisis.

“By providing a way to go on this pilgrimage, each pilgrim can fulfill their own goals”, he said.


Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, PA on September 27, 2015. At that time, he did not utter the words “sexual abuse”, praised bishops for their “courage” and “generous commitment to bring healing to victims” and lamented that “pain” from the scandal had burdened them.

FILE- Pope Francis greets seminarians as he walks the loggia to his address to the Bishops at St. Martin of Tours Chapel