The Pope Comes to America

A conflicted country rolls out the red carpet for Benedict XVI

Being Pope has its privileges: the first foreign visitor to be greeted on the tarmac by President Bush; 12,000 well wishers on the White House South Lawn, more than for the Queen of England; 21 guns, fife and drums, and a cake for his 81st birthday. The anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI's visit was so great, the response was so warm, it was as though his hosts were trying to raise him up, a Pontiff in many ways still in the shadow of his predecessor, John Paul Superstar. And no one seemed more eager to cast him in the brightest light...

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