Archbishop Says New Yorkers Can Expect The Pontiff To Do Something Spontaneous


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Part of Pope Francis’ whirlwind tour of New York City later this month includes a stop at the U.N. General Assembly.

The pope will meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin before delivering a 30-minute speech to the General Assembly, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Wednesday.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza is the Vatican’s representative to the U.N.

“The whole speech to the United Nations will be in Spanish,” he said, explaining that nearly 50 percent of Catholics speak that language.

The pope will be addressing a record number of world leaders, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

“We could reasonably predict that he will say something on poverty, on climate change. We might see the interconnectedness of these themes,” Auza said.

And Pope Francis is expected to take a golf cart from meeting to meeting.

“Because they said if we allow the pope to walk in the corridors, he will greet everybody along the way. So chances are we will really be late in our scheduling and we can hardly afford it,” Auza said.

According to Auza, the pontiff also made a strong, personal request to pray at ground zero and as many as 500 leaders of many faiths will pray along with him, Papa reported.

When asked what makes this pope different than many that have come before him, Auza told CBS2’s Dick Brennan he has elevated how the church is now viewed.

“The perception of people has changed and I think that’s a really good thing, because we finally see a perception we want people to have of the church,” Auza said.

While in New York, Pope Francis is staying at the archbishop’s residence on East 72nd Street, where a private chef will prepare all of his meals, Diamond reported.

Aside from his stops at the U.N., the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and Central Park, Pope Francis will also visit a school in East Harlem and celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Despite Pope Francis’ expected tight schedule, Auza said you can expect the pontiff to do something on the spur of the moment.

“If you ask me what will be the most memorable moment, part of the visit, I would say we probably still don’t know. Even the pope doesn’t know whatever he will do to make people remember it,” Auza said.