Summary of Press Briefing by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Lombardi at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, USA
The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, held a press briefing at the World Meeting of Families Media Center on Sunday, the final day of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. Fr. Lombardi, SJ, was assisted once again, as he has been for Spanish-language questions, by Fr. Manuel Durante, and joined by Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, Vt., and Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau, Alaska.
The briefing was moderated by Helen Osman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, who was serving for the last time in her capacity as Secretary for Communications. Bishop Coyne, the incoming chairman of the US Bishops’ communications directorate, took the opportunity to praise Osman’s “poise and professionalism,” as well as her strong work ethic and careful service to the USCCB, especially in planning for and assisting with the conduct of this Papal visit.
The questions were at times pointed – especially regarding the sexual abuse victims with whom Pope Francis met earlier on Sunday.
At other times the questions were light-hearted, as when one reporter asked whether Pope Francis has had the chance to sample a Philadelphia “cheese steak” sandwich? Fr. Lombardi, SJ, wasn’t sure.
One thing Fr. Lombardi was able to tell journalists present regarded an unscheduled stop at Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University run by the Jesuits. The Pope visited, with school leaders the university’s recently dedicated statue, “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time”, unveiled in connection with the Papal visit and with the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Vatican II document Nostra aetate on the relationship of the Catholic Church to non-Christian religions, especially with Judaism.