If you haven’t heard, the Pope is coming to Philadelphia tomorrow.
People are excited. People are annoyed.
It is clear is that the city of Philadelphia wanted to ensure the Pope’s safety. This is admirable. But the end result is that major roads are closed. Bridges are closed. Business are closed.
The people who live in the city have fled.
There is a reason Philadelphia was selected for this visit. I don’t know what the exact reason is, but it is safe to assume it was because the city was evaluated in a positive light. The people who work and live in Philadelphia define its character. They are the people leaving.
What is left is not a reflection of the city. Yes the buildings and the restaurants are open (I think), but what makes Philadelphia not New York and not Washington DC – they are elsewhere this weekend.
This isn’t a slam on the Pope (as far as Popes go, he seems like an alright guy). This isn’t a slam on the thousands of Catholics converging on the city. This isn’t even a slam on the officials who planned it.
This whole thing played out the way it should have (for logistical and security reasons), but it is a shame that the people who live in the area couldn’t actually appreciate what was happening.
Photo: Republic of Korea, Flickr