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Pope Benedict XVI to Visit United States and United Nations

Contact: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 202-541-3200, 301-325-7935 mobile


WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /Standard Newswire/ -- Pope Benedict XVI will come to the United States with visits to Washington and New York City on a six-day trip which includes an address at the United Nations.


The visit is slated for April 15-20.


Among venues during the visit will be the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where Pope Benedict will meet with the Bishops of the United States.


"This is a blessed moment for our nation," said Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "Pope Benedict is not just the leader of Catholics, he is also a man of inspiration for all those who work for peace."


Cardinal Edward Egan of New York voiced the delight of the people of New York.


"When our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, told me last July that he would be visiting New York this coming April, I was delighted with the news and shared it with the People of God of the Archdiocese of New York and the entire community of greater New York. The response of all was both rejoicing and thanksgiving to the Lord for the great grace of the presence of the successor of St. Peter in our midst. I have assured the Holy Father of a warm and prayerful welcome. We all look forward to his visit with pleasure and anticipation."


Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington spoke of "faith-filled joy and enormous enthusiasm" in the Archdiocese of Washington.


"Personally, and in the name of all of the clergy, religious and faithful of the archdiocese, I express our warmest welcome while renewing our sentiments of love and loyalty to our Holy Father. We all look forward to his visit as a time of renewal of our faith and pastoral ministry and an opportunity to confirm our solidarity with the Church universal made visible among us by the successor to Peter, Pope Benedict XVI," Archbishop Wuerl said.


"It is an enormous privilege for the Church of Washington to host our Holy Father. We pledge to do all that we can to make his presence among us a moment of true spiritual renewal and a vibrant manifestation of God's kingdom at work among us."


Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the national Shrine, noted the Shrine's importance in the nation.


"The Shrine was established by the Bishops of the United States as our nation's tribute to Mary Immaculate and so it is appropriate that the Bishops of our country meet with the successor of Peter in the house they established to honor the Mother of God," he said.


Information on media credentials will be forthcoming.