When Pope Francis comes to town


It’s really turning into a giant clusterfuck. They seem convinced his visit is a major terrorism magnet:

Aggravating the problem is SEPTA, whose convoluted plans to try to accommodate the masses are beyond human comprehension. I need a special rail pass? Only a limited number of them will be sold? Only a few stations will be open? I have to buy my pass online? “It will be valid only for travel from the specified outlying station during the selected time slot, and for travel from Center City back to that station after the Papal Visit events”? I need a whole other papal pass to ride the buses or subway? WTF, SEPTA — are you trying to drive people away?

Listen, I know it’s fun to get all worked up and be alarmist. I also know what it can cost the city — in terms of money that doesn’t come in, goodwill that gets squandered, prestige that’s lost — when the alarmists win. Rizzo showed us that back in ’76. I read the New York Times every day, and I’ll be damned if I see a flood of articles bemoaning the trials that city will face when the Pope visits there. In fact, I don’t see any such articles at all. New York knows: Cities get through these things. You plan, you make contingencies — but you don’t stand on street corners and wail and gnash your teeth and wring your hands.

We’re a big city, Philadelphia. We can handle this. We don’t have to blow it again. So everybody, please, take a deep breath and move back from the ledge. He’s one guy — one gentle, humble guy — who’s coming to visit. You think Francis wants us getting all worked up like this?