See You in September... 2015
As the now-departing pontiff spoke of his intent to come for the gathering, the presiding honors now fall to his successor on what's likely to be the next Pope's first American trip.
Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. will hold a local press conference on today's announcement later this morning – in the meanwhile, here's today's statement from the Pontifical Council for the Family:
On June 3, 2012, at the Closing Mass of the VII World Meeting of Families in Milan, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, announced to a congregation of approximately one million Catholic faithful that the next international gathering of families would take place in the city of Philadelphia in the year 2015.For the record, no venues in the host-city have yet been decided upon – the triennial event's first edition in North America is being envisioned as being significantly smaller than its predecessor last summer in Milan, where the closing Mass drew over a million people.
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.
In acknowledging the enthusiastic welcome of this news by His Excellency, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, the Honorable Thomas W. Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, and indeed, by people of good will throughout Pennsylvania, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, His Excellency Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, takes this opportunity to express his heartfelt gratitude. At the same time, he assures them of his full support as they prepare for this exciting event, which will bring together many thousands of families from around North America and the world to celebrate the good news of the "gospel of the family."
Vatican City, February 25, 2013