Monday, July 16, 2007

Pope Hopes to Visit USA Next Year

Hopefully, more than just the UN. From USA Today:

Pope Benedict XVI has a heavy international travel schedule coming up, with plans to deliver an important speech to diplomats in Vienna in September and confirmed trips to the United Nations, Australia and Lourdes, France in 2008, the Vatican spokesman said Sunday.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi did not specify what the speech would cover during the pope's Sept. 7-9 trip to Austria, but Lombardi said Benedict would deliver an "internationally important" speech to diplomats accredited to international organizations.

He said early plans are underway for a papal trip next year to the shrine at Lourdes, to mark the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Madonna. The trip will also be a significant emotional one, Lombardi said, since Pope John Paul II's last foreign trip was to Lourdes.

"We also hope to go to the United Nations," Lombardi said. No date for the trip has been set.

The archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, has invited Benedict to visit Boston next year, saying it would help mend wounds from the clergy sexual abuse scandal that erupted in Boston.