Pope Francis may undertake his first trip to the U.S. next year to attend the World Meeting of Families scheduled to take place in Philadelphia in September 2015.
The pope has "expressed his willingness" to attend the meeting, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said speaking on the phone from Rome. "Nothing operational has begun relative to a plan or program for a visit."
Earlier today the Catholic News Service cited Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput as saying the pope had accepted an invitation to the meeting.
Lombardi said the pope has received a number of invitations to visit other cities in the U.S. and will consider them.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alessandra Migliaccio in Rome at amigliacciobloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3bloomberg.net Kevin Costelloe, Alessandra Migliaccio