The 8th World Meeting of Families will bring Pope Francis to Philadelphia, and the city is preparing for what it describes as the largest event in its modern history.
Some 1 million Catholics from 150 countries will be in town. The Pope's homily will be teased apart for doctrinal changes and for signs of softening the Church's line on issues such as sexuality, homosexuality, contraception, marriage and divorce.
The Vatican polled Catholics around the world in 2013 on a host of Church teachings and thorny issues. The findings guided the extraordinary Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in Oct 2014.
According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Pope will arrive on Friday, Sep 25, and meet with civic leaders. On Saturday, he attends a Festival of Families, and on Sunday, he celebrates an outdoor Mass.
World Meetings of Families are held every three years. The last was held in Italy in 2012.
Date written/update: 2014-07-24