Pope to bless ground zero in NYC, pray for peace

Pope Benedict XVI has reached out in compassion to beleaguered clergy, victims of clergy sex abuse and members of other religious groups during his first US trip. On the final day of his journey, he turns his focus to the people of New York, in a prayer service Sunday at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Benedict has invited 24 people with ties to ground zero to join him: survivors, relatives of victims and four rescue workers. He will pray for peace, hope and healing, including for those who became ill after breathing toxic air in the ruins. Benedict will travel down a ramp now used mostly by construction trucks to a spot by the north tower's footprint. He will kneel in silent prayer and bless the ground with holy water, acknowledging the many faiths of the victims at the "scene of incredible violence and pain." Benedict will be joined by New York Cardinal Edward Egan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. New York Gov. David Paterson and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine have also been invited. The land is owned and managed by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.