The president of the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau will be among the last people to publicly see Pope Benedict XVI before he resigns this week.
If he’s lucky, Jack Cohen may even get to participate in a meet-and-greet session with the outgoing pontiff.
Cohen said his trip to the Vatican is a vacation with no business ties. He and his wife, along with several friends planned the trip months ago before the pope announced his surprising resignation on Feb. 11.
While Cohen will be among the tens of thousands of people who will hear the pope give his last public address today, he might even get the chance to meet him.
That’s because one of his friends from Greensburg months ago requested tickets for a meet-and-greet session with the pope, which was granted.
Whether he actually gets to meet the pope is up in the air, but that doesn’t mean Cohen isn’t thinking ahead to what that experience would be like.
“I’m not even of the Catholic faith, but I would be completely in awe,” he said. “No matter what religion you are, meeting someone of that magnitude is earthshaking.”
The pope officially steps down on Thursday.