Some eager pilgrims couldn't get close to Pope
Joanna Lingner said she had to bail. She and a friend, Barb Zimmerman, took the train up from Aberdeen, MD, and made it in line by 12:45 p.m.
But by 5 p.m., Lingner said, after getting in line at 19th and JFK, they'd only made it to Cherry Street.
"What's that, like a block up?" Lingner asks? It's two. But a tough pace for four hours.
Many pilgrims at 30th Street Station Sunday evening say their plans of making in it for mass were dashed.
A pair of friends from New York shrugged when explaining they too spent hours waiting unsuccessfully.
Jem Jebbia, a Buddhist chaplain at Northeastern, was stuck outside of the checkpoint and says she watched the mass on the phones of people standing by her in line.
She was "not really disappointed," she explained.
"Feel like I took a really nice pilgrimage ... People were singing in so many different languages. It was a really great experience."
Lingner, Zimmerman and Jebbia did not have kids. A New Jersey couple that did said they made it in 3 hours.
"It's sad. Philadelphia could not handle [the turnout]" says Lingner. "I think they were overwhelmed honestly. They didn't have enough checkpoints."
"And the checkpoints they had didn't have enough detectors," Zimmerman chimes in
"We're talking hundreds of thousands of people." says Lingner. "That's crazy."
After Papal mass, tensions erupt during protest as visitors depart
Shouting matches and confrontations followed shortly after the Papal mass as departing pilgrims encontered anti-Pope protesters on Broad & Walnut street
The Henry Society, a group of disgruntled Evangelicals and excommunicated Catholics over the Pope Francis' "excessive idolatry and false teachings," aroused the crowd of papal visitors.
"The Pope is an Antichrist," said minister Chuck O' Neal from Oregon.
Automatically, a crowd of travelers began to yell "We love Pope Francis" in an attempt to drown out the sounds of his denouncements piped through a megaphone.
"This isn't free speech, this is hate speech...these men are crazy out here speaking such ignorant buffoonery," said Carl Romano, 27, from South Jersey. "I'm not even religious and this offends me."
After standing and hearing more of the protestors chant denouncements against the Papal visit, Romano confronted Michael Marcavage, an ex-Roman Catholic demonstrator.
"God doesn't want this for you," Marcavage told Romano. "Your soul seeks repentance."
Officers then had to remove Romano after he began to yell epithets and ball his fist at group.
"F--k these religious fanatics ... this entire papal visit has been a pain that I can't wait to be over," he said. "I'm seriously counting down the hours."
Pope Francis preaches unity of humanity at World Meeting mass
In the midst of millions of dollars of preparations, city reorganizing that wildly disrupted locals' schedules and levels of security not seen even for the U.S. president, Pope Francis took the stage Sunday like he just a priest attending any weekly Mass at a neighborhood parish.
As the packed parkway fell silent, the Argentine pontiff, seemingly unaware of the mountains that were moved to make way for this moment, led an ordinary Sunday mass.
His homily touched on the themes that Francis has become known for foregrounding in public appearances: universal love over cultural and national divisions.
"Our families, our homes, are true domestic churches," Francis said. "They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith."
Hundreds of musicians provided celestial music for the Mass, which like traditional Mass included the ordinary Bible readings.
In one departure from the Pope's prepared homily that was possibly improvised, the Pope gave attendees a question.
"I leave you with a question for each of you to answer … 'In my own home, do we shout, or do we speak to each other in love and tenderness?' That is a good way of measuring love."
Linking the relations within a single human family to those of all humanity, Francis urged a spirit of unity upon listeners hearing his message.
"Our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions," Francis said. "The urgent challenge of protecting our home includes the effort to bring the entire human family together in the pursuit off a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change."