GR Bishop reacts to possible US visit by Pope Francis

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It looks like Pope Francis might make his first trip to the United States as Pontiff next year.

According to the Catholic News Service, the Pontiff has been invited to the World Meeting of Families conference in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Archbishop said that the Pope accepted his invitation, saying "Pope Francis has told me that he is coming."

We spoke to Grand Rapids Bishop David Walkowiak about both the excitement surrounding the visit and what it is that's making Pope Francis so popular around the world.

"People of any age are attracted to authenticity, and that's what we see in this pope, is that Pope Francis practices what he preaches," said Bishop David Walkowiak. "And that's not to say other popes haven't, but he does it in such a way that is remarkably candid, a different way that I think that his life, which is basically following the gospel, is made more and more attractive."

The Diocese of Grand Rapids will be taking a group of people to Philadelphia for the conference next year. Anyone in the diocese -- Catholic or of other faith traditions -- is welcome to attend. Registration for the world meeting opens at the end of August.


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