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Archdiocese: No confirmation of Philly papal visit
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Archdiocese says there is still no confirmation that Pope Francis will attend a major gathering of the world's Roman Catholics next year in the city, despite a report that the archbishop had said Francis would come.
The Catholic News Service reports that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said Thursday in North Dakota that "Pope Francis has told me that he is coming" to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015.
But the archdiocese cautioned Friday that Chaput's comments weren't official confirmation. A Vatican spokesman also tells The Associated Press that although Francis has said "he is willing" to attend, there is "no operating plan or preparations underway" for a visit.
Francis has yet to visit the U.S. as pope, and the question of whether he will attend the Philadelphia gathering has drawn intense speculation.