Pope issues "hope" message to Americans ahead of US visit

Other News Materials 8 April 2008 17:44 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The world needs hope "more than ever," Pope Benedict XVI told Americans in a video message issued Tuesday, a week before his scheduled visit to the United States.

"Together with your bishops, I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: Christ our hope," Benedict said of his April 15-20 visit to Washington and New York.

"Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice and for freedom, but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God," he said.

Benedict said he would bring his message of hope to the United Nations General Assembly which he is scheduled to address on April 18 in New York.

The message was delivered mainly in English, but also contained a greeting in Spanish reflecting the composition of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States which is made up of many Latin American immigrants.

The pontiff's trip, the third by a pope to the United States, is set to begin in Washington where he is scheduled to meet President George W Bush.

Benedict's programme also includes a visit to Ground Zero - the site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York - several inter-faith meetings and Mass in the city's Giants Stadium on April 20.