Pope May Visit Lourdes and New York
LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI hopes to visit New York and Lourdes, France, in 2008, and plans to deliver an important speech to diplomats during his upcoming trip to Vienna, the Vatican spokesman said Sunday.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi didn't specify what the speech would cover during the pope's Sept. 7-9 trip to Austria, but Vienna is the headquarters of the U.N. nuclear agency. Lombardi said Benedict would deliver an "internationally important" speech to diplomats accredited to Vienna-based international organizations.
He said early plans are under way 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; heads of state and government gather each September in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly session.
More here HT to PBXVI Blog