22-July-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Mayor of New York Visits Vatican, Pitches for Pope to Visit City in 2015

Also Discusses Migration Issues With Cardinal Parolin

VATICAN CITY, July 22, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The mayor of New York has expressed his desire for the Pope to visit New York on his much-awaited and probable 2015 visit to the U.S.

Mayor Bill de Blasio met at the Vatican with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Monday and affirmed his hope for such a visit, reported CBS New York.

Although talks between the two were ostensibly to continue discussion on migration issues, some speculate there was another motive.

The Pope has been officially invited by U.S. bishops to the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, scheduled for Sept. 22-27, 2015.

Some sources believe that at the conclusion of this potential visit, the Holy Father may end his U.S. visit at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral which is currently being renovated.

The director of the Vatican press office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said yesterday's meeting also provided an "obvious" opportunity for the mayor to offer such a welcome mat, should Francis visit the United States next year as many expect.

De Blasio said it was "such an honor to spend time with him and to relate to him how important it would be for the people of New York City to have the pope visit. We understand that no one has a more difficult schedule in the world than the Pope and nothing definitive was decided in the meeting, but Cardinal Parolin was very open to the request."

As far as the migration talks, Fr. Lombardi said the secretary of state and the mayor, who was in Rome as part of a family visit, explored approaches to migration.

"The church has been a leader in calling for compassion and support and a humanitarian response as opposed to a political response to the crisis," the mayor of New York said. "We spoke a lot about immigration, about the immigration crisis in Central America now affecting the United States."

Recently, Cardinal Parolin has been addressing migration issues and returned this month from a meeting in Mexico dedicated to migration and to human rights.

In line with Pope Francis' call for "urgent intervention" to protect migrant minors crossing into the United States on their own, de Blasio signed a measure offering ID cards to city residents regardless of immigration status earlier this month. (D.C.L.)

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