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Vatican Says Pope Likely to Visit Washington and New York

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Secretary of State gives hints to possible itinerary.

It’s been rumored for months, but now the Vatican has given near-official word that Pope Francis’ visit to the United States this year will include Washington, D.C., and New York.

The Pope has said that he will attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, to be held Sept. 22-27, and the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations in New York has spoken of the strong possibility that the Pontiff will speak there, but no official itinerary has been released for the US papal trip.

Today, however, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said that Pope Francis will most likely visit Washington and New York.

“I think the Pope will go to United Nations; everybody is speaking about that… but no official announcement has been delivered,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin told Catholic News Agency Tuesday.

Cardinal Parolin spoke to American journalists at the end of the dedication ceremony for a new wing of the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

He added that “of course” a Papal visit to the nation’s capital is possibly in the agenda, but he stressed that “no official confirmation has been made.”

Cardinal Parolin hesitated to make an official confirmation, CNA said. The wire service said details of the Pope’s participation in the Philadelphia meeting of families will likely be set either this spring or summer, and then made public together with the overall schedule of the papal voyage to the United States.