You can’t help but be struck by the diversity among the tens of thousands of pilgrims flocking to Philadelphia for two historic events this week — the World Meeting of Families and the pending visit of Pope Francis (the first papal visit here since 1979).

Yet, in many ways, those winding through the streets of Center City and those still streaming into town reflect the residents of this city, where an estimated 1 in 10 were born outside of the United States and where the Catholic tradition runs deeply.

But you don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy the moment of humanity coming together on a mass scale, as is expected with the pope celebrates Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday.  Non-Catholics through atheists have been attracted to the universal message of peace and overtures of tolerance for all echoed during this week of activities. Rightfully so.

And PCHR doesn’t mind having such a distinguished cheerleader reiterating those shared values.


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