Public Opportunities Available to See Pontiff

US Bishops Say Final Routes to Be Finalized

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The general public will have opportunities to greet Benedict XVI during his three-day visit to Washington, D.C., when he arrives April 15.

An important part of the Pope’s demanding itinerary includes opportunities for the public to see the Holy Father as he travels to some events, the U.S. episcopal conference reported today.

Details of the Pontiff’s travel routes are still being finalized, but there will be several opportunities for the general public to welcome Benedict XVI as he travels in the “popemobile.”

Created for Pope John Paul II, the customized, bullet-proof vehicle allows for optimal visual contact between the Pontiff and his audiences.

The general public can see Benedict XVI on Wednesday, April 16, as he departs from the White House visit with President and Mrs. Bush and travels to the Papal nunciature on Massachusetts Avenue. The Pope will ride in the “popemobile” for part of the route.

Later, the public will be able to see the Pontiff as he travels in the “popemobile” to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Michigan Avenue.

On Thursday, April 17, following an address to the heads of more than 200 U.S. Catholic colleges and universities at The Catholic University of America, the Holy Father will travel across campus to the John Paul II Cultural Center on Harewood Road to meet with faith leaders from several religions, including those from the Buddhist, Muslim, Hindi, Jain and Jewish traditions.

Access to viewing areas on Catholic University’s campus to see Benedict XVI on April 16 and 17 are available only through tickets that the university has made available to local Church-sponsored Catholic organizations.

Details of the exact routes will be made available after they are finalized. More information about the Pope’s schedule while he is visiting the United States can be obtained by visiting www.uspapalvisit.org.

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