Pope Francis concludes his five-day tour of the United States with a mass in Philadelphia, which will serve as a culmination to the 8th World Meeting of Families today.
After a long Saturday, the Pope will meet with bishops in the chapel of St. Martin, from the Seminary St. Carlos Borromeo, and then will visit the Curran-Fromhold Prison.
In the afternoon a mass is scheduled that will close the activities of the World Meeting of Families, prelude to the Synod on the social institution, to be held in the Vatican from October 4 to 25.
The Pope will participate also on a visit to organizers, volunteers and benefactors of that event in the Atlantic Aviation, which will precede his departure for Rome, scheduled for 20:00 local time.
Francisco will then end the longest trip of his pontificate, since he arrived to the US on the 22nd from Cuba, where he carried out an intense pastoral visit which started the 19.
Yesterday, His Holiness celebrated a mass in the Cathedral St. Peter and Paul, of Philadelphia, where he praised the role of women in Catholicism again and called for greater involvement in the work of the Church of Catholic laymen “in a society that is rapidly changing.”
He asked before bishops and clergy for “a sense of shared partnership and responsibility in planning the future of our parishes and institutions” without implying “to renounce the spiritual authority entrusted to us.”
Also, this Saturday Francis came to the Independence Mall in Philadelphia- where in 1776 the Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies took place- where Francis again met tens of thousands of fans gathered to greet him and hear his message on immigration and religious freedom.
Finally, the Bishop of Rome attended the Festival of Families in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
During this northern tour Francisco met with President Barack Obama at the White House, gave speeches before the Congress and the General Assembly of the United Nations, and paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The head of the Vatican State has made called to welcome immigrants, for the social inclusion in large cities, and an ideal of human progress based on solidarity and environmental protection, consultation and dialogue among nations, the elimination of nuclear weapons and war, among other issues. (PL)