Pope John Paul II has again been formally invited to visit Chicago during his trip to the United States in October. John Cardinal Cody last Monday sent a second invitation, following one sent last fall before the Pope's plans to visit this country were definite. He has also appointed Msgr. Richard A. Rosemeyer, vicar general of the archdiocese, to oversee arrangements for a papal visit.
Meantime the Association of Chicago Priests, an ad hoc group often critical of Cardinal Cody, has sent an invitation of its own, partily to make clear that no difference within Chicago's Cathloic community could lessen the warmth of its welcome for the Polish Pope.
Adding our voice to this chorus, we most cordially urge John Paul II to come to Chicago. No American city could be more eager to greet him. Not only is the Chicago archdiocese - with 2.4 million Catholics - the largest in North America, but Chicago's own Polish community takes in more people than most cities in Poland itself.
Americans of Polish descent are by far the largest nationality group in Chicago; the last census showed 191,955 first- and second-generation Poles here. When ethnic groups are defined by "mother tongue" - the language spoken in the home when the census respondent was a child - the Polish total in Chicago is an astonishing 214,440. There is no question that the former Karol Wojtyla, now supreme pontiff of the world's Catholics, would find an outpouring of welcome in Chicago unforgettable to him and to the city. We will all be honorary Poles on the day he arrives.
So we join in iviting the Holy Father to confer honor on Chicago. Or, to say this more convincingly:
Zuczuciami najglebszego szacunku prosimy Ojca Switego, aby Chicago dostapilo przez Jego wizyte tego historycznego i w najwyzszym stopniu znamiennego zaszczytu.
The Chicago Tribune urged pope to visit there in a bilingual editorial. CAPTION: Picture, The pope was invited to Savannah to honor Casimir Pulaski's bicentennial.