Pope Benedict Signals Trip to United States in 2015


Pope Benedict XVI spoke Saturday, May 21, 2011 with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

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By Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN) — Pope Benedict XVI signaled on Sunday that he planned to visit the United States in 2015, announcing a major Roman Catholic Church meeting in Philadelphia, which is now hosting a high-profile church sex abuse trial.

Benedict, whose sole trip to the U.S. as pope came in 2008, announced that Philadelphia would be the site of 2015’s Catholic World Meeting of Families.

“I send my warm greetings to (Philadelphia) Archbishop Charles Chaput,” the pope said, “and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world.”

But the church seemed to stop short of guaranteeing the 85-year-old’s pope attendance at the Philadelphia meeting.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, for instance, did not mention the pope’s attendance in its announcement of the World Meeting of Families, saying instead that it is “customarily attended by the Holy Father.”

On Friday, a Philadelphia jury began deliberating in the landmark trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric to be charged with endangering children by allegedly helping cover up sexual abuse, a case that has made national headlines.

The church’s World Meeting of Families happens every three years. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says the meetings are intended to “strengthen and defend the sacred bonds of marriage and family across the globe.”

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