Pope Francis might make his way to the United States in 2015, the Catholic News Service reported Friday.
According to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, the pontiff will attend a Catholic gathering in Philadelphia called the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.
"Pope Francis has told me that he is coming," Chaput told attendees at a conference in Fargo, N.D. "The pope will be with us the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of that week."
However, the Philadelphia Archdiocese has released the following statement saying there is no confirmation the pope will be in the city next year:
There has been no official confirmation by the Vatican or The Holy See of Pope Francis’ attendance at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. We still expect that any official confirmation will come approximately six months prior to the event.
Archbishop Chaput has frequently shared his confidence in Pope Francis’ attendance at the World Meeting and his personal conversations with the Holy Father are the foundation for that confidence. We are further heartened and excited by the comments of the Vatican Press Office regarding Pope Francis’ 'willingness to participate in the World Meeting of Families.' While Archbishop Chaput’s comments do not serve as official confirmation, they do serve to bolster our sincere hope that Philadelphia will welcome Pope Francis next September.
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi did not confirm a visit either, only saying that Pope Francis has been considering visiting the city as well as heading to other U.S. cities like New York and Washington, D.C.
Last April, Archbishop Chaput, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett traveled to Rome to speak to Pope Francis about a visit. Until one is confirmed, however, the U.S. will continue to await the pope's first appearance in the country.