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Pope Benedict XVI spoke positively of America's Founding Fathers and lauded the principles they embraced in creating the United States.
The pope's address referenced the Declaration of Independence and drew a parallel between the views of his predecessor, the late John Paul II, and those that former President George Washington expressed in his Farewell Address.
"From the dawn of the Republic, America's quest for freedom has been guided by the conviction that the principles governing political and social life are intimately linked to a moral order based on the dominion of God the creator," said the pope.