WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives formally welcomed Pope Benedict XVI with a unanimously passed resolution during his first trip to the United States April 15-20.
Sponsored by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., H.R. 838 – passed April 9 – officially welcomes the pope and acknowledges his contributions to people of all faiths and to refugees and for his advocacy of world peace.
“Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic visit to the United States is a uniquely historical moment,” said McCotter, a 42-year-old Catholic, in a news release. “It has been 29 years since the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and Vatican head of state has visited the White House, and it is the first visit by Pope Benedict to the United States. All Americans should eagerly look forward to his message of hope and renewal.”
The resolution also recognizes the pontiff’s ecumenical and interreligious efforts and says his authorship of 25 books and thousands of hours of lectures make him one of the most prolific theologians in modern times.
“Whereas Pope Benedict XVI has decried the imminent dangers posed by terrorism and extremism; and whereas Pope Benedict XVI has identified the failed revolutions and violent ideologies of the 20th century as being the result of the ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ now, therefore, be it resolved, that the U.S. House of Representatives welcomes His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his first apostolic visit to the United States,” the resolution states.