Departure Address at BWI Airport

Dear Mr. Vice President, Dear Friends, Dear People of America,

As I take leave of the United States, I wish to express my deep and abiding gratitude to many people.

To you, Mr. Vice President, for graciously coming here to say goodbye.

To the Bishops of the Dioceses I have visited and the many people, who have worked so hard to make this visit a success. To the public authorities, to the police and security personnel, who have ensured efficiency, good order and safety.

To the representatives of the various churches and ecclesial communities, who have received me with great good will; to Americans of all races, colors and creeds, who have followed with interest and attention the events of these days; to the men and women of the communications media, who have labored diligently to bring the words and images of this visit to millions of people; and especially to all those who, personally present or from afar, have supported me with their prayers.