Pope Francis To Rename Francisville

By: Fritz Algard

Pope Francis’ official visit certainly came with official business as his tour of Francisville was “not really what I expected”, stated His Holiness yesterday afternoon.

While on his Philadelphia stop, Pope Francis took it upon himself to become familiar with the diverse neighborhoods in the “City of Brotherly Love”.  After discovering Francisville, located in North Philadelphia, Pope Francis thought it only appropriate to check out.

Philadelphia Inquirer Reporter Ted Schmid was chosen to ride alongside Pope Francis in hopes of recording his very first reactions.  Below is an excerpt from Schmid’s feature article that ran this morning, titled “Pope Says Nope: How One Man Changed Francisville”:

All of Philadelphia welcomed Pope Francis with excitement and praise but His Holiness seems to be ending his Philadelphia visit on a more sour note.  After familiarizing himself with his surroundings, Pope Francis thought it only appropriate to tour through the Francisville section of Philadelphia.  As a guest and maybe a bit of a backseat driver, I was honored with the opportunity to report his first reactions of the visit.  

The trip began at The Ritz Carlton, located on Broad Street near City Hall.  While many believe Pope Francis would be staying at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, he had secretly reserved a room at The Ritz as well as the rest of the hotel for that matter as a safety precaution.

Pope Francis was filled with anticipation and getting a bit anxious to start his tour of Francisville, which upon later discovery he had thought to be named after him.  

While traveling north on Broad Street, His Holiness was eagerly bouncing in his car seat. His facial expressions were visibly changed, however, upon turning down Ridge Avenue immediately requesting that the driver turn around and go back to the hotel.

Pope Francis was quickly escorted to The Ritz Carlton, where he denied his disdain for the Francisville tour stop.

“It was very beautiful. Everybody seemed friendly and approachable. The homes had a, well, spirited look,” he said.

The Pope requested that the town not share his name, but rather be renamed “Benniville” to honor his precedessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Philadelphia thanked Pope Francis for his selflessness and humility, and will reportedly honor his request.