BALTIMORE, Md. — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced last week that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the United States next spring. His trip will include stops in Washington and New York.
The April 15-20 visit will coincide with both Benedict’s 81st birthday and the third anniversary of his papal election. As a cardinal, he visited the United States twice. The Holy Father will arrive in Washington on April 15 and New York City on April 18.
Sources familiar with papal plans say that the pontiff will celebrate Mass, gives an address at the United Nations, and pause for reflection at Ground Zero, the site of the twin towers destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nearly 300 bishops stood to applaud after the pope’s U.S. representative, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi, announced plans at the opening session of the three-day fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 12.
The schedule includes an official greeting at the White House, ecumenical gatherings and meetings with U.S. bishops, priests and other religious leaders. “He will not travel much, but he will address all the people of the United States and the world Catholic Church,” Sambi said.
The April 19 St. Patrick’s visit will be a Mass for priests, deacons and members of religious orders. The April 20 Mass at Yankee Stadium is public. Admission to the Mass at Yankee Stadium and other papal events will be by ticket. Information is available on the archdiocesan Web site.