Pope Francis’ potential visit to NYC delights local Catholics

A papal representative told the AP if His Holiness visits Philadelphia, he’ll visit New York.

The rumbling has begun.

Last week, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the permanent observer of the Holy See, told The Associated Press that if Pope Francis “comes to Philadelphia, he will come to New York.”

The prospect of a papal vist has many of NYC’s 2.5 million Catholics elated. “The parishoners are talking about this quite a bit. They’re saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if he came to New York?'” said Catherine Jestice, the parish secretary at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church on theUpper West Side.

A visit by His Holiness would be especially reassuring and appreciated “and a real boost to everyone here,” in light of the Archdiocese’s announcement earlier this month that dozens of parishes would merge, Jestice acknowledged.

Jestice would love to see Pope Francis address the United Nations and “reiterate his message to the world at large.” and allow his message to be heard by a wider audience, she said.

Visiting a local Catholic church is a delicate diplomatic matter, as congregations in the churches not chosen might feel “left out,” Jestice said. That’s why, she continued,”St. Pat’s is a safe bet.”

Sheila Anne Feeney