Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the United States:
“On behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives, I welcome His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his first apostolic visit to the United States. Like millions of Americans, I look forward to hearing his message of hope and justice for all and his call to work together on the challenges that we face as citizens of the world.
“In his papal encyclical of April 2006, entitled ‘God Is Love,’ Pope Benedict wrote of the role of public servants and the need for government to promote justice. In these challenging times, there are many opportunities for the world community to work for justice and come together on issues such as human rights and climate change.
“On the crucial issues of global poverty and debt relief, I am proud that the House will act this week on bipartisan legislation to help relieve the crushing debt burden felt by the poorest countries and their people. Debt relief to poor countries is a priority for the Catholic Church, and it has the potential to save children from disease and hunger, to preserve natural resources, and to promote development and global security.
“As the Pope stated in his recent message prior to his visit, the ‘world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom.’ I look forward to embracing this message and in welcoming him to the nation’s capital.”
compiled by Jay Fermin
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515