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Covering Pope Benedict's Visit to America

Commentators Available on Life, Teaching and Papacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Contact: Ashley Walker, 678-990-9032 ext. 105, 404-791-9725 cell; Christine Schicker, 404-610-8871 cell; both with The Maximus Group

ATLANTA, April 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- Between April 15 and April 20, Americans will get their first visit from one of the world's most prominent leaders. While Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger visited the United States five times previously, the now Pope Benedict XVI makes this maiden journey at an interesting time in U.S. history. Americans are in the midst of a controversial and heated presidential campaign in which many of the key issues important to U.S. Catholic voters are in play. It is expected that Benedict will address topics of personal morality, social justice, and the Church's relationship with other religions when he visits the heart of U.S. political activity in the nation's capital and addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City.

Roman Catholics are the largest single denomination in the United States with slightly more than 65 million members.

The Catholic Church in the United States is one of the most respected and influential voices in the country and the world.

While he is in the United States, Pope Benedict will celebrate his 81st birthday on April 16 and his 3rd anniversary as Pope on April 19.

The Maximus Group, the leading Catholic communications company in the United States, has assembled a variety of spokespersons to speak on aspects of Pope Benedict XVI's life, theology and pontificate. Here is a sampling of commentators available:

-- Greg Erlandson, President and publisher for Our Sunday Visitor, one of the nation's oldest and largest Catholic publishers - they've been covering US Catholic issues for nearly 100 years.

-- John Norton, Former Rome bureau correspondent for Catholic News Service and international news anchor for Vatican Radio, currently Editor for Our Sunday Visitor.

-- Dr. Matthew Bunson, Advisor to the cause of canonization for two Saints, Author of We Have a Pope! - first biography on Pope Benedict XVI, and USA Today special consultant.

-- Amy Welborn, Author and popular blogger (Authored response to Da Vinci Code).

-- Michael Dubruiel, Editor of Questions and Answers from Pope Benedict XVI and author of a series of books on Catholic topics.

-- Brennan Pursell, Professor at DeSales University, author of Benedict of Bavaria (New release - March 25, 2008).

-- Dr. Pia de Solenni, Expert on women's issues, moral theologian, and cultural commentator.

Full biographies of these commentators and their topics are available.

The Maximus Group, LLC - The Maximus Group, a Catholic communications agency, first offered this unprecedented service to the media in 2005 at the time of the passing of Pope John Paul II, during the days of the interregnum and the papal conclave, and concluding with the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his installation as Pope Benedict XVI.

For interview requests or additional information, please contact Ashley Walker at 678-990-9032 or Christine Schicker at 404-610-8871.