Friday, November 16, 2007

Philadelphia Daily News: "Why the pope should visit, & why he won't"

Philadelphia Daily News speculates as to why Philadelphia was not on the roster of cities selected for the Pope's visit:

"New York is still the capital of the world to the Vatican, and the prime reason for his trip is to address the U.N.," said papal observer Rocco Palmo. "Plus he has to go to Washington. As a head of state, a pope needs to go through formalities."

Palmo is U.S. correspondent for The Tablet, a London journal of religion, culture and politics. He also writes the blog "Whispers in the Loggia," which is the Clout page of the Catholic hierarchy.

One big difference between John Paul's visit and Benedict's is that Philly had clout with the former and has none with the latter.

"John Paul had a special bond with Philadelphia because of his good friend Cardinal Krol," Palmo said. "His first words in English were, 'I need to find an excuse now to come to Philadelphia.' "

"In 1976, John Paul gave his first speech as cardinal at the Eucharistic Congress" here, Palmo said. "Benedict doesn't have that same kind of bond with the city."