With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, only-in-Philly projects, exhibitions, anniversaries and celebrations will give first-time visitors incentives to make that return trip and return visitors reasons to come back yet again.
So what’s on the calendar? The Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a who’s who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a special exhibition at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.
Of course, all eyes will be on Philadelphia when thousands of Catholic families from around the globe — and Pope Francis — gather for the eighth World Meeting of Families.
Here are some of the major happenings taking place throughout Philadelphia in 2015:
CHICAGO, IL — Pope Francis‘ comments that the Catholic Church should not focus so much on homosexuality, abortion and contraception have met with strong approval from U.S. Catholics, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday.
Sixty-eight percent of American Catholics agree with comments the Pope made to that effect in an interview published last month in the Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica, while 23 percent disagreed, according to the poll. There was little difference in opinion between observant and less-observant Catholics, women and men, and among age groups, the poll found.
American Catholics also like their new pope, with 89 percent having a “favorable” or “very favorable” opinion, and only 4 percent voicing an unfavorable opinion, the poll found.
VATICAN CITY — Tens of thousands of people answered Pope Francis’ call for a four-hour Syria peace vigil in St. Peter’s Square late Saturday, joining Christians and non-Christians alike in similar vigils around the world.
About 70,000 people, according to an estimate by the Vatican, were present at the start of the vigil. It was believed to be one of the largest rallies in the West against proposed U.S.-led military action against the Syrian regime following the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
Francis spent most of the vigil in silent prayer, but during his speech he issued a heartfelt plea for peace, denouncing those who are “captivated by the idols of dominion and power” and destroy God’s creation through war.
“This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and war are never the way to peace!”
emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
VATICAN CITY – Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
He chose the name Francis, associating himself with the humble 13th-century Italian preacher who lived a life of poverty.
Francis shyly waved to the crowd of more than 100,000 people who packed a rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square for the announcement, marveling that the cardinals needed to look to “the end of the earth” to find a bishop of Rome.
In choosing a 76-year-old pope, the cardinals clearly decided that they didn’t need a vigorous, young pope who would reign for decades but rather a seasoned, popular and humble pastor who would draw followers to the faith and help rebuild a church stained by scandal.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is making the national news as of late but unfortunately it is not for something wonderful. Instead the archdiocese has been in the spotlight for its handling of sexual abuse cases involving its priests. It is believed that Pope Benedict will now accept Cardinal Rigali’s resignation (he turned 75 last year) in light of the scandal rocking the archdiocese in which Rigali’s leadership has come under heavy fire. Rigali has been the head of the Philadelphia archdiocese since 2003.
The leading contender to replace Cardinal Rigali is Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, the first Native American to serve as the bishop (Ordinary) of a diocese in the Roman Catholic Church. Chaput is considered to be a conservative who follows church teachings and at one time was a Capuchin monk. This leadership change will be officially announced in the very near future.