Prohibited items released for pope’s Philadelphia visit
As preparations continue for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia later this month, the U.S. Secret Service has announced a number of security measures that will be in place.
On Sept. 2, the Secret Service released its walking map, including pedestrian entry points for the Papal events on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and at Independence Hall. In addition, visitors will be required to undergo security screenings at both events. Officials are urging people to allocate extra time to accommodate the checkpoints.
"We have worked diligently with our many valued partners for several months to develop comprehensive plans that would allow for maximum public access to events involving the Holy Father in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere," said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia.
A comprehensive list of prohibited items was also released by the Secret Service, and strict enforcement of these items will be in place on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27.
The list of items include:
- Animals other than service/guide animals
- Backpacks and bags exceeding the size restrictions (18" x 13" x 7")
- Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
- Glass, thermal or metal containers
- Laser pointers
- Mace/Pepper spray
- Selfie Sticks
- Signs exceeding the size restrictions (5' x 3' x 1/4") made of any material except cardboard, poster board or cloth
- Supports for signs and placards
- Toy guns
- Weapons of any kind
- Any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard
The pope’s two big public events will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. He’ll attend the closing ceremonies of the WMOF on Sept. 26, and celebrate Mass late Sunday afternoon. In addition, the Holy Father will pay a visit to Independence Hall at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.
An online planning guide, Papal Visit Playbook, is now available for those wishing to attend.