PHILADELPHIA — Roman Catholic leaders in Philadelphia are predicting as many as 2 million people could turn out to see Pope Frances during his first U.S. visit as pontiff.

The pope plans to attend a World Meeting of Families event in late September and lead an outdoor Mass.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput on Monday says it gave him “great joy” to be at the Vatican this month when Francis confirmed the trip.

The pope also is expected to visit New York and Washington.

The World Meeting of Families is scheduled for Sept. 22 to Sept. 27 in Philadelphia. The event will feature workshops, lectures and an outdoor Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Hotels in the area are already sold out for miles around.


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