- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia says he expects immigrants in the country illegally may be reluctant to attend a special prayer service to show support for them.

Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP’-yoo) will lead the 4 p.m. Sunday service at the cathedral in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest Catholic church.

Chaput is urging Catholics from across the region to attend. But he says he recognizes those in the country illegally may not feel comfortable showing up because of recent detentions and deportations around the country.

Chaput says good people exist on both sides of the debate over immigration restrictions.

But he says as a church that “bore the cross of hatred toward immigrants,” the Catholic past “Is a compelling reason to welcome the immigrants and refugees among us today.”

The service will be livestreamed at www.archphila.org .

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