NewsPope Francis Visit Mayor Bill de Blasio: New York City is ready for Pope Francis' 'energizing' visit Pope Francis arrives at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2015. Pope Francis is on a five-day trip to the United States, which includes stops in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Photo Credit: EPA / Olivier Douliery By JOHN VALENTI firstname.lastname@example.org September 24, 2015 8:09 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday morning that he is "absolutely confident" New York City is well-prepared to protect Pope Francis, who is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Airport at 5 p.m. for a whirlwind two-day visit. Speaking in a pre-dawn appearance on WABC, the mayor said the NYPD is "absolutely up to the job" of not only protecting the Pope, but scores of statesmen gathered this week in Manhattan for the 70th U.N. General Assembly. De Blasio also said he expects the pontiff's message of acceptance and inclusion to "resonate very strongly here in New York City." "He has the ability to make humanity think differently about our commonality," de Blasio said of Pope Francis, saying the pontiff is echoing a message pushed by his administration -- of working toward "a more just and equal society." The mayor said that the venues chosen for papal appearances -- an evening prayer Thursday night at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Friday at Central Park and Madison Square Garden -- were aimed at making sure "every day New Yorkers" had the chance to see Pope Francis. He said security details understand this pope is "spontaneous" in many acts and actions and said law enforcement is fully prepared should the pontiff decide to stop his motorcade or proceedings to meet and greet the public. "We know at some point he will do that," de Blasio said, noting the pope already has done as much during the earlier part of his visit to Cuba and to Washington, D.C. "It's who he is," de Blasio said of that spontaneity, calling it "genuine." The mayor said he is "thrilled" to know tens of thousands of New Yorkers will get the chance to see the pope here, on their home turf, saying he believes officials have assembled "an extraordinary team" that will ensure it is the best and safest experience possible. "This is going to be an incredibly energizing moment for the City of New York," the mayor said. By JOHN VALENTI email@example.com John Valenti, a reporter at Newsday since 1981, has been honored nationally by the Associated Press and Society of the Silurians for investigative, enterprise and breaking news reporting, as well as column writing, and is the author of “Swee'pea,” a book about former New York playground basketball star Lloyd Daniels. Valenti is featured in the Emmy Award-winning ESPN 30-for-30 film “Big Shot.” Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Pope Francis uses shock to get message acrossLike his namesake saint from Assisi, Pope Francis likes to shock people to get his message across. NYers love their visiting popesAs Pope Francis arrives this week for the fifth-ever papal visit to the Big Apple, ... Poll: Pope has 'astoundingly high' numbersPope Francis gets "astoundingly high" favorability ratings from Long Islanders in a new poll, though ... Complete coverageGet complete coverage from Newsday during Pope Francis' visit to Cuba, Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.