By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — Pope Francis will live in simply while in New York this week. “He has no special requests. Everything will be simple in his official residence,” revealed Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Papal Nuncio, in a press briefing today on the lower East side.
Pope Francis will be in residence on East 72nd Street, at the edge of the Museum Mile on 5th Avenue and Madison. This 1890s townhouse used to be owned former NY mayor Hugh Grant.
While in the Big Apple, Pope Francis will address issues on peace, eradication of poverty, and respecting human rights before the United Nations and in his other public engagements.
“He will speak not as state leader but as a pastor, a religious leader, prophet, and father before the United Nations and in public,” said Auza, a native of the province of Bohol in the Philippines, has served the Church as permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York since July 2014.
He said that the Pope will address the issue of peace before the General Assembly in Spanish, where he is most comfortable with. “To the Holy Father, the new name of peace is development. And he will express his concern about globalized individualism and will speak about the eradication of massive poverty through local action. The UN program is ambitious but nothing will come out of it if local governments won’t do anything. Children must be given a chance to go to school and people must lead healthy lives,” explained Auza of the Pope’s position on peace.
Pope Francis will also reiterate his position on protecting the fundamental freedoms and opposition to the massive killings of peoples all over the world and abolition of nuclear weapons. Peace, according to the Pope, is achieved through political good will and dialogue, said Auza.
The Holy See, being an observer state to the United Nations, will send a representative when the flag of Palestine will be hoisted at the UN on September 30.
Bp. Auza added that the Pope will emphasize the need for ecological conservation at the UN, and that everyone should promote “spiritual ecology” or that which is being responsible and respecting of the Earth.
Pope Francis will arrive Thursday evening in the Big Apple where he will celebrate mass in the fully restored St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue. He will address the UN General Assembly in the morning of Friday, Sept. 25. He will also visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum and Harlem. He will have a motorcade through Central Park and say Mass at the Madison Square Garden.
On Saturday, the Pope will be in historic Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. He will address a crowd, expected to reach a million, in English.