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 CNS Story:

POPE-USA Feb-8-2008 (240 words) xxxi

Vatican officially announces April 15-20 papal trip to United States

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has officially announced Pope Benedict XVI's April 15-20 trip to the United States.

In a written statement distributed Feb. 8, the Vatican said the pope would visit Washington and New York City, with a visit to the United Nations in New York. It will be Pope Benedict's eighth apostolic journey outside Italy.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, first announced the details of the papal visit during his remarks to U.S. bishops Nov. 12. The Feb. 8 statement was the Vatican's first official announcement of the trip.

The pope's six-day trip will include an April 16 meeting with President George W. Bush at the White House, a prayer service that same day with U.S. bishops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and an April 17 Mass at the new Nationals' stadium in Washington.

Also in the nation's capital, the pope will meet April 17 with the heads of Catholic colleges and universities from across the United States at The Catholic University of America and later with representatives of major religions at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.

In New York, the pope will address the United Nations April 18, celebrate an April 19 Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, visit ground zero April 20 and say Mass later that day in Yankee Stadium.


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