Savannah Bishops invited to Pope's visit - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah Bishops invited to Pope's visit

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Bishop Gregory Hartmayer had a personal meeting with Pope Francis earlier this year on a trip to Rome.

But the leader of the Diocese of Savannah will be excited to be in his presence again when the leader of the Catholic Church makes his first visit to the United States this week. Bishop Hartmayer and Bishop-emeritus J. Kevin Boland have been invited to four events involving the Pope in Washington D.C.

"It's an honor certainly for us because we're very closely related to the Pope given our responsibilities as bishops,” said Bishop Hartmayer. “But those who have received tickets or those who would just want to be along the motorcade or just to get a glimpse of him, it is an exciting time.”

Bishop Hartmayer expects the popularity of this Pope to energize the church and engage the American public.

"I think it's his style, he has a warmth to him,” said the Bishop. “In his words and in his actions, he has really been inclusive and very outreaching. And he has a great message, I think, in regard to conservation and ecology as well as some great views on how we can live better as good neighbors.”

Bishop Hartmayer will be in the gallery inside the capitol building when Pope Francis addresses both houses of Congress, and will also take part in two religious meetings the Pope will lead.

But he expects the entire country to find the Pope and his message accessible.

"He's really admired by Catholics and non-Catholics alike,” said the Bishop, “so, I think he's going to receive a very warm reception in the places that he visits in the United States, so it's exciting for all of us.”

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