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Local Chef On Papal Visit: 'Didn't Need To Close Every Street, Scaring Most People'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia has put into place major security measures for the Papal visit, including the shutdown of major roads, school closures and more.

One Philadelphia chef took to Facebook to share how he felt about the planning of the massive event.

Marc Vetri writes, "We're clearly all thrilled that Pope Francis is here. Never has there been a Pope in history that people have such admiration for while having such a gentle voice that transcends all religions and all walks of life. I can say that I was thrilled that the Pope has chosen Philadelphia to spread his message…and I remain thrilled.

My only regret is the decisions of Philadelphia leaders. Instead of engaging the citizens and businesses around this great city in welcoming the Pope, they have instead decided to roll out the red carpet for everyone making the pilgrimage, and roll us up in the carpet to place in storage until Monday. I imagine a man like this Pope would like to see Philadelphia as is. We are the fabric of this city yet it seems as if the people that make this city great were by in large… an afterthought."

His post continues, "We didn't need to close every street, bridge and alley, scaring most people. The goal was to give a shot of adrenaline into our economy, not hurt small and large business alike so they had to close.
-We didn't need to sweep the homeless people off the streets, instead we needed to realize that they are a part of this great city too and like all cities we have problems that we need to deal with.
-We didn't need to spend an exorbitant amount of money fixing the streets and beautifying the city, when we are broke and can't even offer our children the education they deserve.

This event has been magical as well as inspirational. This weekend riding my bicycle around neighborhoods with my children, going side to side in the middle of Broad Street has been an experience of a lifetime that they will soon never forget…and neither will I. But I remain haunted by the empty streets and shuttered windows. I can't help feeling that Philadelphia's pride and sense of community is absent this weekend… probably because they all left."

Sunday was Pope Francis' final day in Philadelphia.

To read Marc Vetri's full Facebook post, click here. 

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