New York News

Mayor Adams Says He Will Meet Pope Francis at the Vatican This Week

Mayor Eric Adams speaks at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Restoration Plaza on July 28, 2022 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

CITY HALL — Mayor Eric Adams will be traveling to the Vatican later this week, where, according to City Hall officials, he will meet with Pope Francis. The Vatican has not confirmed a meeting.

Adams will fly to Rome on Thursday, May 9, to take part in the second annual World Meeting on Human Fraternity, a two-day conference on May 10 and 11 featuring roundtable discussions with Nobel laureates, elected officials, scientists, and figures from sports and the arts discussing ways to foster world peace.

According to Fondazione Fratelli Tutti, the group organizing the conference, the roundtable events will be held at the Vatican and various sites around Rome.

Various media reports are describing the mayor’s meeting as a private audience with Pope Francis, even though the Vatican has not confirmed a meeting.

It’s not clear exactly when Adams would meet with Pope Francis during the conference. It would be the first meeting between the mayor and the leader of the world’s 1.4 billion Catholics.

The mayor’s press office confirmed his trip — although the statement offered few details — and his deputy press secretary, Fabien Levy, posted a statement on X saying that Adams would meet with the pontiff.

“@NYCMAYOR will travel to Rome, Italy later this week for the World Meeting on Human Fraternity and conduct bilateral meetings with leaders & stakeholders, including his Holiness @PONTIFEX,” Levy wrote on May 6.

Fondazione Fratelli Tutti is footing the bill for the mayor’s trip, Levy confirmed.

The mayor’s trip abroad is coming at a fraught time for New York City, which is grappling with campus unrest at Columbia University and other educational institutions over the Israeli-Hamas war. On Monday, Columbia University officials announced that it is canceling its main commencement ceremony amid campus protests over the war.

The World Meeting on Human Fraternity is designed to foster open discussion, the press release from Fondazione Fratelli Tutti states.

“The experience of fraternity lived in dialogue by 30 Nobel Prize winners, scientists, economists, mayors, doctors, managers, workers, sports champions, and ordinary citizens from all over the world aims to seek alternatives to wars and poverty,” the press release reads.

Adams is scheduled to return to New York on Monday, May 13.