Volume 20, Number 49 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | APRIL 19 - 26, 2008

Photo courtesy of Vatican.va

Pope Benedict XVI will be praying at the World Trade Center site Sunday morning.

Downtown prepares for Pope Benedict’s W.T.C. visit

On a six-day trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will visit ground zero for the first time Sunday.

The pope will pray with relatives of 9/11 victims at the World Trade Center Sunday morning at 9:30. This is the first visit to the United States for Benedict, 81, since he became pope and the first papal visit to the U.S. since 9/11.

The logistics of providing security for the pope at the already secured ground zero are very complicated, said Glenn Guzi, a Port Authority program manager.

“The security level for the pope is greater than for the president,” he said.

The New York Police Dept. is closing a number of Lower Manhattan streets from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, including: West St. from the FDR underpass to Murray St.; Church St. from Barclay St. to Liberty St.; Barclay St. from Broadway to West St.; Cortlandt St. from Broadway to Church St.; Dey St. from Broadway to Church; Fulton St. from Broadway to Church St.; Liberty St. from Broadway to Church St.; Trinity Place from Liberty St. to Rector St.; and Vesey St. from Broadway to Church St.

Spectators will be allowed on Church St. from Liberty St. to Vesey St.

Brendan Fay, of Dignity/NY, is planning a response to the pope’s anti-gay policies. He will hold “an interfaith community witness and vigil of hope,” at 8:30 a.m. at Church and Vesey Sts. to honor Father Mychal Judge, the gay fire chaplain killed at the W.T.C. on 9/11.

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