Update 7:13 p.m.
A long wait for a surprise visit from Pope Francis at the Children’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania appears to be all for naught. CHOP employees and patients had been lined up outside the hospital for several hours, but the pope did not come.
According to an employee, security personnel made an announcement over the hospital’s p.a. system earlier this afternoon alerting employees that a higher security level was in effect.
Not long after, dozens of people began lining up outside.
A visit to CHOP is not on Pope Francis’ itinerary for today or Sunday. He spoke at Independence Hall at 4:45 and was scheduled to attend the Festival of Families on the Parkway starting at 7:30.
But in February, Archbishop Bernardito Auza suggested Francis would likely visit a children’s hospital or a juvenile correctional facility. And he’s known for making off-script detours during his trips.
CHOP is also within the borders of the traffic box security zone.