the Vatican and Washington Nationals Stadium
One year to the day after I posted this about the Nationals Stadium -- G.W. Bush -- Vatican power play, the very same blog Wispers in the Loggia (which published the letter calling for the resignation of Cardinal Egan that I reported here), published the following about Pope Benedict's April 2008 visit to the U.S.
As currently planned, the trip's first full day will see the pontiff's 81st birthday. As reported in mid-September, the plans continue to point toward the visit's start in Washington. While most of the previously-noted itinerary of the Catholic University of America and diplomatic courtesies at the White House appear to remain in place, one reported change has the venue for Benedict's DC Mass pegged not for the expanse of the National Mall, but -- as with New York -- the new stadium of the Washington Nationals, currently projected to open barely a week before the visit takes place. (On a related note, Major League Baseball's scheduling for 2008 is still in its tentative stages and has not been publicly released.) Built to house a game capacity of 41,000, Nationals Park would likely seat closer to 50,000 for a papal liturgy.This marks a change from what was reported previously by the Catholic News Agency:
Washington DC, Sep 17, 2007 / 10:15 am (CNA).- Details about Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated apostolic journey to the United States next year have begun to emerge. Anticipated stops for the Pope’s first-everHe will be holding Mass literally in the baseball stadium ON the Mall- that is the aborted South Capitol Mall.
USvisit include, New York, Washington, Bostonand possibly . Baltimore
The tentatively scheduled April 15 to 20 trip is centered around a papal speech before the United Nations General Assembly in
. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon personally invited the pontiff to address the UN. New York
However, plans for the voyage remain unconfirmed. George Weigel, in comments to CNA, said that "[i]f the Pope comes to the UN next spring, he'll obviously do one or two other American cities.” “Nevertheless, there is no decision I'm aware of on which it would be.”
Sources familiar with the plans for the papal visit say that the pontiff will visit
New York, where he will celebrate Mass at Central Park, give an address in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and pause for a moment of reflection at Ground Zero.
The trip, however, will reportedly begin in
, where the Pope is expected to meet with the president, visit Catholic University of America and say Mass on the National Mall. Washington
This stadium -- now under construction and bearing essentially the name of that stadium in Santiago Chile made infamous by the Pinochet dictatorship -- Nationals Stadium, was politically rammed through with its knife edged clubhouse of the 'King of the World' -- the words of Jacqueline Dupree -- that essentially extends southward the building line of the sole building along South Capitol Street saved by the South Capitol Mall's abortion: St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church
The South Capitol Extending the Legacy plan would have been the 1st major extension of monumental Washington D.C. since the western extension of the National Mall with the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
The complete blackout by the mainstream media and the "environmentalist" and land planning related organizations of this conflict, with the public receiving no explanation for the Vatican's opposition to even relocating the St. Vincent de Paul Church, and with Cardinal Egan's closing and planned demolition of church structures in New York in the face of passionate parishioner opposition, such as with St. Brigid Church that faces Tomkins Square Park, serves as a monumental if not mysterious display of the Vatican's social and political power in the U.S.
Mark Touhey, then Chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission involved with this miserably located stadium and a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington Jesuit Academy, Gonzaga HS and Catholic University of America