Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Matt Hansen, Los Angeles Times

Pope Francis will make his first visit to the United States as pontiff next year, attending a conference in Philadelphia, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The pope is to visit Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families, an event aimed at strengthening families, according to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Catholic News Service first reported that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said on Thursday that the pope had accepted an invitation to the meeting.

However, as of Friday morning, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia refused to confirm the visit. A papal visit to Philadelphia has been widely anticipated for some time.

It’s not clear yet whether the pope will visit additional cities in the United States, Walsh said.

Francis’ visit would mark the first papal trip to the United States since Pope Benedict’s 2008 meeting President George W. Bush in Washington. Benedict also visited New York during that trip.

AFP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Interested in world news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

Keep reading... Show less