NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pope Francis will be visiting the U.S. in September and will be making a stop in New York – but just what will he do?
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, some people want the Bronx to be part of the pope’s local agenda.
Pope Francis will only be in New York for a day, and he has to fit in visits to the UN General Assembly and most likely St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
But after that, the schedule is not etched in stone. And the pope is getting a big invitation from the Bronx.
“I want to meet him,” said Debra Ellis of the South Bronx. “I need my blessing.”
“It will bring a little peace to the community,” added Robert Evans of the South Bronx. “A lot of stuff been going on, so if we see the pope here, it would bring calm.”
Cary Goodman of the 161st Street Business Improvement District pointed out that three popes have said mass at Yankee Stadium – Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Paul VI in 1965. Pope Paul VI only had one day to visit that year.
“He went to the World’s Fair. He met with the president — at that time it was (Lyndon B.) Johnson — in the Waldorf Astoria. He went to St. Patrick’s, and he still found a way to come to the Bronx,” Goodman said.
The main reason for the pope’s visit to the U.S. is to attend the Meeting of World Families in Philadelphia. Generally, the Vatican reportedly does not like to schedule another major mass, but that could change and nothing was definite months ahead of time.
Some people in the Bronx believe a visit by the pontiff to the new Yankee Stadium might be a blessing for the boys of summer.
“Great idea, because he’s the pope. Why not?” said Christian Roman of the South Bronx. “The Yankees can use all the hope they can get.”
“It might do something for the Yankees too” another man said. “God bless the Yankees – maybe it’ll do something for them.”
CBS2 was told that the other team in Queens – known as the Mets – would also welcome the Pope. A mass at Madison Square Garden is also a possibility.
A schedule could be finalized in March.