.- Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore has sent a written invitation to the Pope, asking that he pay a visit to Baltimore when he comes to address the United Nations in New York.
Though a date has not been established, Catholic News Service has reported that a UN trip is likely to take place next year.
The trip would be the pope's first visit to North America since his election in 2005. Cardinal Keeler invited Pope Benedict to visit the Basilica of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the United States, and the new Our Daily Bread Employment Center, which will be dedicated this month.
Created in 1789, the Archdiocese of Baltimore is the premier see from which other major U.S. dioceses were formed.
Fr. Joseph S. Rossi, professor of church history at Loyola College, said: "There is no more symbolic city in America than Baltimore, as far as Catholic heritage.”
He suggested that the Pope could round out a U.S. tour by acknowledging the growing Latino Catholic community with a stop in the South or West. Los Angeles, the largest archdiocese, would be the perfect bookend to his trip, he said.