Details about Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated apostolic journey to the United States next year have begun to emerge. Anticipated stops for the Pope’s first-ever US visit include, New York, Washington, Boston and possibly Baltimore.
The tentatively scheduled April 15 to 20 trip is centered around a papal speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon personally invited the pontiff to address the UN.
However, plans for the voyage remain unconfirmed. George Weigel, in comments to CNA, said that "[i]f the Pope comes to the UN next spring, he'll obviously do one or two other American cities.” “Nevertheless, there is no decision I'm aware of on which it would be.”
Sources familiar with the plans for the papal visit say that the pontiff will visit New York, where he will celebrate Mass at Central Park, give an address in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and pause for a moment of reflection at Ground Zero.
The trip, however, will reportedly begin in Washington, where the Pope is expected to meet with the president, visit Catholic University of America and say Mass on the National Mall.
The last stop is Boston, where he is expected to address the sexual abuse scandal. His visit there would end with a Mass on Boston Common.