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Pope bound for USA

WASHINGTON (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI will visit Washington and New York from April 15-20.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, confirmed the dates of the papal trip and announced the pope’s itinerary in remarks November 12 at the beginning of the annual fall meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore.

“Peter, the rock on which Jesus founded this church, will be among us in the person of his successor, Benedict the XVI,” Archbishop Sambi told the bishops.

The official title of the upcoming papal trip is “Apostolic Visit to the United States of America and to the Seat of the United Nations.”

According to the archbishop, the pope will arrive in Washington April 15 and will receive an official welcome at the White House April 16. That afternoon, coincidentally his 81st birthday, he will address the U.S. bishops.

The following day he will celebrate Mass at the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium in Washington.

Later that day he will meet with directors of Catholic universities and colleges and diocesan educational leaders at The Catholic University of America in Washington and then he is to attend an interreligious meeting at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.

On April 18, the pope will be in New York to address the United Nations in the morning and attend an ecumenical meeting in the afternoon.

The following day, the third anniversary of his election as pope, he will concelebrate Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the morning and meet with youths and seminarians in the afternoon.

While in New York the pope will visit ground zero on the morning of April 20. Ground zero is the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood before they were brought down by terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

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