Pope Francis meeting with bishops, prison inmates before massive mass

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Pope Francis is wrapping up his first trip to the United States, a visit that took him to Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

Francis has another full day of events before he ditches the popemobile for a plane back to Rome.

Here’s what to watch for on Sunday:

1. Meeting with clergy sex abuse survivors

Pope Francis will meet with victims of clergy sexual abuse Sunday, according to two American Catholic leaders.

The Vatican said it would not confirm such a meeting until after it happens.

Asked for details at a press briefing on Saturday, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said that historically such meetings are never announced publicly in advance, out of respect for the nature of the meeting.

The Pope has met with abuse survivors before. His first meeting with victims was at the Vatican in July 2014. Pope Benedict XVI held such meetings at least five times during his papacy, according to bishopaccountability.org

2. Meeting with the bishops

Pope Francis has a morning visit with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Philly has been battered by two grand jury reports detailing clergy sexual abuse of children, budgetary woes, closing parishes and shuttering schools.

3. A visit to prison

Pope Francis will then meet with about 100 inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia. It’s a maximum security prison, housing 2,800 inmates.

It will be the first time a pope has ever visited a U.S. prison.

The inmates built a chair for Francis as a gift. He’ll sit in it when he speaks with the inmates.

4. A massive Mass

Francis will close the World Meeting of Families with a Mass expected to draw huge crowds. The Mass is open to the public and will be held on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The WMOF is a multiday event with as many as 150 nations represented.

5. Philly says farewell

Pope Francis heads back to Rome at 8 p.m. ET. He’ll give final remarks and thank the WMOF organizers before climbing the steps up to the plane. He’s received a rock star reception at each of his events, inspiring politicians, regular people and even a dog named Clifton, who donned a papal costume.

 

Read more on the Pope’s visit here. 

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