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Archive of April 16, 2008

Pope fever comes to CUA

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - Catholic University of America (CUA) is preparing for the visit of Pope Benedict with intense preparation, banner-making, and prayer vigils, according to a press release from the university.

On Monday, students met at the Office of Campus Ministry in Caldwell Hall at 8 p.m. to walk through campus praying the rosary. 
Tuesday night, students will make banners to welcome the Pope. 

On Wednesday, there will be an all-night prayer vigil on the university campus, including confessions and all-night Eucharistic adoration.  The writings of Pope Benedict will be read each hour on the hour.

Pope Benedict will visit the nearby Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday afternoon, where he will address the Catholic bishops of the United States.  Several thousand CUA alumni, staff, and students are expected to greet the Pope during his arrival and departure from the National Shrine. 

The Pope will visit the university campus after his 10 a.m. Wednesday Mass at Nationals Park.  Students can watch the Mass on a JumboTron erected near the Columbus School of Law, and several thousand students are expected to greet the Pope when he arrives at the Pryzbyla Center to address Catholic educators and diocesan leaders.

Seventeen CUA students have rehearsed two pieces of music, “Laudes regiae: Christus Vincit” and “Tu es Petrus,” to perform for the Pope at the Pryzbyla Center.

The Pope’s talk will be streamed live on CNA.

After his talk, Pope Benedict’s will travel via popemobile to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center to meet with leaders of other religions. His route through the CUA campus will be lined with thousands of well-wishers.

Due to security and logistical concerns, the university has cancelled most of its Wednesday classes and all of its Thursday classes.

A special media center has been established on campus to accommodate journalists.  Thirteen media satellite trucks are already parked on campus.

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Minnesota woman will excommunicate herself, says bishop

Winona, Minn., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - The Bishop of Winona has said that a woman will excommunicate herself for undergoing an ordination ceremony administered by the excommunicated Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, the Winona Daily News reports.

Bishop Bernard Harrington said the situation was “very, very sad.”

He praised the work of Kathy Redig, a chaplain at Community Memorial Hospital who plans to undergo an ordination ceremony on May 4.  However, the bishop said her participation in the ceremony purporting to ordain her to the Catholic priesthood “will cause more confusion than good.”

Bishop Harrington said the Church’s teaching that women cannot be ordained was exhaustively outlined in Pope John Paul II’s 1988 apostolic letter Dignitatis Mulierem.  He explained that Catholic teaching was rooted in Christ’s actions when he called only men to be his 12 apostles. 

While Archbishop of St. Louis Raymond Burke formally excommunicated three women who took part in an attempted ordination in his archdiocese, Bishop Harrington said a formal excommunication was not necessary in this case.

“She, by her actions, has excommunicated herself,” he said, speaking of Redig. “Archbishop Burke did something that formally had already taken place. It means my job is easier.”

Bishop Harrington noted there were many opportunities for women to serve in the Church.  He said that in Catholic theology the Virgin Mary is “held in the highest esteem of all human beings.”

“Mary is our single, solitary boast,” he said.

He also said that many men were also turned away from the priesthood, since they must have both a vocation and approval from the bishop to become priests.

“There are many people who seriously feel called but are not suited,” Bishop Harrington said. “Yet it’s a very deep, deep call.”

The bishop has used the planned event to teach Catholics in his diocese, placing in “The Courier,” the diocese’s official newspaper, a full-page article on Catholic teaching regarding ordination to the priesthood.

“I have to let the Catholic community of this area know what is proper and true,” Bishop Harrington said, according to the Winona Daily News. “This is not a proper ordination by Catholic teaching and tradition. The Catholic community needs to know they need a validly ordained priest.

“If they choose to go to her the Catholic community ought to know — must know — that confession is not being validly heard, that the sacraments and words used may be the same, but it’s not valid. After all, we see Mass in the movies and see Masses in plays, but we know they’re not real.”

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Origins of the Popemobile

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - The most recognizable vehicle in Washington, D.C. this week will most likely be the, “Popemobile”. The term is affectionately applied to the protective glass enclosed Mercedes-Benz that takes the Holy Father from one event to another during his pastoral journeys.

The Popemobile originated during the pontificate of John Paul II as a manner to provide the most visibility while maintaining safety for the Pope during his apostolic visits. The vehicle is encased with protective glass, which has a capability of protecting the Holy Father from any attempt to harm him physically with bullets or perhaps a bomb. The cabin of the Popemobile is climate controlled and has just one solitary seat…from which the Pope greets faithful crowds all over the world.

Protecting the Pope is the responsibility of the United States Secret Service while he is in the U.S. Members of the Papal Swiss Guards and Italian Cabinieri also lend support to the security detail when the Holy Father travels outside of the Vatican.

The Popemobile is actually manufactured by various auto companies. The vehicle being used during the visit to Washington, D.C. and New York is made especially for the Pope by Mercedes-Benz. The papal fleet contains three popemobiles and they are always shipped ahead of the Pope’s foreign trips whenever he leaves Vatican City.

Pope Benedict XVI will use the Popemobile three times in Washington D.C. and once in New York.

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President Bush welcomes Pope Benedict at White House

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - This morning Pope Benedict was officially welcomed to the United States by President Bush and 12,000 other guests at the White House. During the reception, the Pontiff described the goal of his visit to bring hope to American Catholics and strengthen them to increasingly contribute to the life of the United States.

 

In his opening remarks, President Bush highlighted the religious roots of the United States and the values of defending life and religious freedom. He also told the Pope that the U.S. needs his message and encouragement in fostering these values.

 

The Holy Father responded by expressing his pleasure to be present in the United States as a guest and indicated his, “great respect for this pluralistic society.” Pope Benedict also stated his goal for the visit, “As I begin my visit, I trust that my presence will be a source of renewal and hope for the Church in the United States, and strengthen the resolve of Catholics to contribute ever more responsibly to the life of this nation, of which they are proud to be citizens.”

 

In his remarks, the Holy Father also indicated his expectations of meeting with not only the American Catholic community, but with other Christian communities and representatives of the many religious traditions present in this country.

 

The Pope then continued to elaborate on the importance of freedom in the history of the United States. “Freedom is not only a gift, but a summons to personal responsibility.” He continued to illustrate the actions necessary to protect freedom and quoted from Spe Salvi, 24…” In a word, freedom is ever new. It is a challenge held out for each generation and it must constantly be won over for the cause of good.”

 

Pope Benedict concluded his address with “as I begin my visit to the United States, I express once more my gratitude for your invitation, my joy to be in your midst, and my fervent prayers that Almighty God will confirm this nation and its people in the ways of justice, prosperity and peace. God bless America!”

 

Following the address, Pope Benedict was treated to a rendition of “Happy Birthday”, after which he and President Bush met privately.

 

To view the full remarks of Pope Benedict click here.

 

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The Swiss Guards, protectors of the Pope

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - Visitors to the Holy See are often fascinated by the colorful uniforms worn by the Swiss Guards when serving the Pope. While the Pontiff is present in the United States, the American Secret Service will work closely with the Swiss Guards for the protection of the Holy Father.

Since their introduction to the Vatican in 1506, the uniform of the Swiss Guards has remained relatively unchanged. Popular myth has it that the elaborate costume of the Guards was designed by Michelangelo. However, according to the official Vatican website of the Swiss Guards, the reality is the design is from Raffaello.

January 22, 1506 marked the Guards’ first entrance into the Vatican when they were sanctioned and blessed by Pope Julius II. Ever since that time they have been the constant bodyguards designated for the exclusive protection of the Holy Father. During the sack of the city of Rome the Swiss Guards protected the Holy Father and on May 6, 1527 189 members of the Guard sacrificed their lives to protect the Pontiff. Only forty-two guards remained after the battle, however the papal palaces were secured and the Pope safe. Every year on this day, new members of the Swiss Guards are sworn into the Guard, with a specific oath of personal allegiance to protect, the person of the Holy Father, even till the death.

Today the Swiss Guards are responsible for all of the activities at the Vatican, from directing traffic to crowd control at Papal events. Their everyday uniform is dark blue; however they still carry the traditional pikes and weapons of their medieval predecessors. The Swiss Guards however are not a personal protective force to be taken lightly. According to their web site, the Swiss Guards are trained in all aspects of modern protective capabilities. They work in close unison with the Italian police and foreign governments when papal trips are planned to ensure the constant protection of the Pope.

When the Swiss Guards are on duty outside of the Vatican, they can be most recognized by their dark suits and commanding physical presence around the Pope. Very much like the United States Secret Service, the Swiss Guards form a protective area around the Pope and ensure there are no surprises from the crowds of well-meaning faithful fans of Benedict XVI.

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Colombian archbishops says country needs to change and end conflict

Rome, Italy, Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - During his recent visit to England and Wales, Archbishop Ruben Salazar of Barranquilla in Colombia said, “We cannot live in conflict any longer. Our society needs true change.”

According to the SIR news agency, the Colombian archbishop explained that his country has been experiencing “a conflict that has lasted more than 40 years and has caused one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world,” with “more than three million people, almost the entire population of Wales, [who] have to leave their homes and live in poverty” because of the guerrillas and paramilitary groups.

Archbishop Salazar also requested assistance for those affected by the conflict.  In response, Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff and other leaders promised their support for a campaign for peace and justice in Colombia.

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Colombian seminarian to be in charge of Pope’s mitre and skullcap

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - Freddy Patino, a Colombian seminarian from the Archdiocese of New York, has been chosen to care for the Pope’s mitre and skullcap during his visit to New York.

Patino, who was born in Medellin, Colombia, and lives in Yonkers, was overjoyed at the news.  “They posted the lists, and I went and looked and realized I was chosen to carry the mitre during the Mass at Yankee Stadium.  I thought they made a mistake but they didn’t.  I am thrilled,” he said in a interview with Caracol Radio.

“On Friday the Pope arrives from Washingtom and we’re going to the UN to listen to his speech.  Later on Saturday I will be at the Mass with the Holy Father in the St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” he said.

“It’s a great privilege as well because it is the first time that a Pope will celebrate Mass in St. Patrick’s,” he added.

Patino said when he told the news to his mother, “she couldn’t hold back the tears.” If he has the chance to meet the Pope, he continued, he’ll ask him two things.  “First I’ll ask him to help us,” he said.  “I will say, Holy Father, help us resolve the problems in Colombia, you can help us.”  The second thing he will ask for is “a very, very special blessing for Colombia.”

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President and Pope discuss wide range of topics, Middle East prominent

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - After a welcome ceremony filled with displays of Americana and good wishes, Pope Benedict and President Bush met in the Oval Office for a private conversation that centered around achieving peace in the Middle East and other areas of mutual concern.

The 45 minute meeting between the Holy Father and the President was wide ranging, covering many “moral and religious considerations to which both parties are committed,” the White House said in a statement.

Among the topics discussed were, “the respect of the dignity of the human person; the defense and promotion of life, matrimony and the family; the education of future generations; human rights and religious freedom; sustainable development and the struggle against poverty and pandemics, especially in Africa.”

Both leaders also spoke about terrorism and the use of religion to justify it. According to the White House, they both reaffirmed their “total rejection of terrorism as well as the manipulation of religion to justify immoral and violent acts against innocents.”  Also stressed, was the need to confront terrorism with appropriate means that respect the human person and their rights.
 
The situation in the Middle East was an item that the two heads-of-state devoted considerable time to.

Issues that were addressed specifically, included: “resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict in line with the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, their mutual support for the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, and their common concern for the situation in Iraq and particularly the precarious state of Christian communities there and elsewhere in the region.”

Pope Benedict and the President mutually expressed their hope for an end to violence and for a prompt and comprehensive solution to the crises which afflict the region.
 
Finally, the issue of immigration was raised by the Pope. The “need for a coordinated policy regarding immigration, especially their humane treatment and the well being of their families,” was discussed, the White House said.

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Pope receives birthday present of 1.7 million community service hours

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - This afternoon Catholic School students met with the Pope to personally deliver pledges of more than 1.7 million hours of community service to honor the Pope’s 81st birthday. The students met with the Pope at the Vatican Embassy. The National Catholic Educational Association asked students from around the country to offer community services in celebration of Benedict’s visit and his birthday.

The three students joined Dr. Karen Ristau, the  President of the National catholic Educational Association to present the spiritual gift to the Pope. The students are Kristina Wilson, an 11th grade student at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.; Stephanie Joy Heredia, an 8th grade student at Corpus Christi School, Falls Church, VA; and Jennifer Sharkey an 8th grade student at St. Jane DeChantal Catholic Elementary School in Bethesda, MD.

Service activities are an established tradition in Catholic education and an essential principle that is part of the Catholic Church’s social teachings. Students perform these works by donating their time at social service agencies, food banks, hospital and nursing homes. The tally for the Papal birthday is estimated to be 1.7 million hours of community service which will be fulfilled during the school year.

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Pope calls on US Bishops to help remove barriers to encounter with God

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - Speaking to all 350 bishops of the United States in Washington D.C. this evening, Benedict XVI challenged the Church leaders to bring the message of hope in Christ to the country by “clearing away some of the barriers” to “an encounter with the living God". Among the barriers he mentioned are the view that faith can be separated from public actions, materialism and individualism.

The discourse to the assembled Bishops of the United States by Benedict XVI focused on their duty to “sow the seeds of the Gospel”.  The Pope elaborated on this by asking, “how, in the twenty-first century, a bishop can best fulfill the call to "make all things new in Christ, our hope"? How can he lead his people to "an encounter with the living God", the source of that life-transforming hope of which the Gospel speaks? Perhaps he needs to begin by clearing away some of the barriers to such an encounter.”

One of the main barriers that prevents this seed from being planted, is the influence of secularism: a worldview that divides one’s faith from their public actions. This leads to attitudes where “practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death”.

The Holy Father then emphasized that, “Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”

Another way that the churchmen should strive to prevent the division of faith from life in the culture is by strengthening marriage.

The Pope told the bishops that their task is to boldly proclaim “the arguments from faith and reason in favor of the institution of marriage, understood as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, open to the transmission of life. This message should resonate with people today, because it is essentially an unconditional and unreserved "yes" to life, a "yes" to love, and a "yes" to the aspirations at the heart of our common humanity, as we strive to fulfill our deep yearning for intimacy with others and with the Lord.”
The Pope also tackled the problem of sexual abuse.

First, he said, the bishops must become vocal advocates for bringing the truth about sexuality to the modern culture through modern mass communication. By way of a solution, the Pontiff called on the bishops to reinvigorate their priests and faithful with their own example of prayer.

Time spent in prayer is never wasted, however urgent the duties that press upon us from every side, Pope Benedict said.

The Holy Father's full address can be viewed by clicking here.
 

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San Antonio archbishop: Latinos are future of US Catholic Church

, Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio said this week the “future of the Church in the United States is the Hispanic community,” as more than 40 percent of Catholics in the country are Latinos.

Archbishop Gomez said he was “pleasantly surprised that Pope Benedict XVI included a paragraph in Spanish in the message he sent ahead of his visit to the United States,” and said he hoped the Pontiff would mention the issue of immigration during his stay in Washington and New York.

“I don’t know what he is going to say, I believe the Pope will call us to hope, that the process we are going through regarding immigration is transitory, it will take time but it will happen, because the United States is a country where human rights are respected and is a country of immigration that will obviously seek a solution,” the archbishop said in a interview with rumbonet.com.

He recalled that “during the last 50 years, modern society has moved away from God,” and in response “the Pope wants us not to forget our roots,” that “God wants to be present among us, and if we hear the voice of God and we follow the person and teachings of Jesus, we will the find peace and happiness that we are all seeking.”

After noting that the Pope’s message of April 8 emphasized that “the message of the Catholic Church is for all people of good will, even for non-believers,” Archbishop Gomez said he hopes “the Pope will call us to have a healthy pride of being Catholics and of contributing to the society in which we live with the truths of the Catholic faith.”

Likewise, the archbishop said that although some people have the impression that Benedict XVI “is a closed-minded, intellectual man who cannot relate to people,” he believes that “the visit of the Pope will hope convey a more authentic vision of his personality and his mannerism,” as “he is a man who looks into your eyes, listens to you and you feel you are connected to him; he is very kind, very simple.”

John Paul II “was an extrovert with great energy; he was elected at the age of 58.” On the other hand, Benedict XVI has a personality that “is more reserved, he is an intellectual who has been a university professor his entire life and is now turning 81.  He needs to be more reserved in order to stay healthy,” the archbishop said.

 

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Papal Q & A with US Bishops

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - The following is a summary of the question and answer session that Pope Benedict XVI held with the bishops of the United States at the National Shrine. The responses of the Pope have been edited for the sake of brevity but can be viewed in their entirety by clicking here.

Combating Secularism and Effective Evangelization

1. The Holy Father is asked to give his assessment of the challenge of increasing secularism in public life and relativism in intellectual life, and his advice on how to confront these challenges pastorally and evangelize more effectively.

The Pope began by noting that there are different forms of secularism around the world, and that the American version has its own problem, namely, that “it allows for professing belief in God, and respects the public role of religion and the Churches, but at the same time it can subtly reduce religious belief to a lowest common denominator.”

This type of secularism leads to a society where, “Faith becomes a passive acceptance that certain things ‘out there’ are true, but without practical relevance for everyday life. The result is a growing separation of faith from life: living "as if God did not exist". This is aggravated by an individualistic and eclectic approach to faith and religion: far from a Catholic approach to "thinking with the Church", each person believes he or she has a right to pick and choose, maintaining external social bonds but without an integral, interior conversion to the law of Christ. Consequently, rather than being transformed and renewed in mind, Christians are easily tempted to conform themselves to the spirit of this age (cf. Rom 12:3). We have seen this emerge in an acute way in the scandal given by Catholics who promote an alleged right to abortion.”

The Pope’s solution to this mentality is to preach and teach the Gospel “as an integral way of life, offering an attractive and true answer, intellectually and practically, to real human problems. The ‘dictatorship of relativism’, in the end, is nothing less than a threat to genuine human freedom, which only matures in generosity and fidelity to the truth.”

He also offered his opinion of the Church in America, saying, “at this point in her history, [she] is faced with the challenge of recapturing the Catholic vision of reality and presenting it, in an engaging and imaginative way, to a society which markets any number of recipes for human fulfillment.”

Of particular concern to the Holy Father were the youth, whose hearts he said the Church must speak to. He pointed out that “despite their constant exposure to messages contrary to the Gospel, [the youth] continue to thirst for authenticity, goodness and truth.

Catholics Who Quietly Drift Away

2. The Holy Father is asked about "a certain quiet attrition" by which Catholics are abandoning the practice of the faith, sometimes by an explicit decision, but often by distancing themselves quietly and gradually from attendance at Mass and identification with the Church.

In response, Pope Benedict insisted that Catholics and others need to learn the faith as a way of life not just as a set of external behaviors.

He went on to say that, “The issue clearly involves factors such as religious individualism and scandal. Let us go to the heart of the matter: faith cannot survive unless it is nourished, unless it is "formed by charity" (cf. Gal 5:6). Do people today find it difficult to encounter God in our Churches? Has our preaching lost its salt? Might it be that many people have forgotten, or never really learned, how to pray in and with the Church?”

The Holy Father then offered two observations on “attrition”, which he said he hoped would spark more discussion.

“First,” he said, “it is becoming more and more difficult, in our Western societies, to speak in a meaningful way of ‘salvation’. Yet salvation - deliverance from the reality of evil, and the gift of new life and freedom in Christ - is at the heart of the Gospel. We need to discover, as I have suggested, new and engaging ways of proclaiming this message and awakening a thirst for the fulfillment which only Christ can bring.” This deliverance, the Pope explained, is primarily found in the sacraments and above all the Eucharist.

The second observation the Pontiff provided was that modern society, and even many traditionally Christian societies, no longer live as if there is a life to come.

“Suffice it to say that faith and hope are not limited to this world: as theological virtues, they unite us with the Lord and draw us toward the fulfillment not only of our personal destiny but also that of all creation. Faith and hope are the inspiration and basis of our efforts to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God. In Christianity, there can be no room for purely private religion: Christ is the Savior of the world, and, as members of his Body and sharers in his prophetic, priestly and royal munera, we cannot separate our love for him from our commitment to the building up of the Church and the extension of his Kingdom. To the extent that religion becomes a purely private affair, it loses its very soul.”

“Let me conclude by stating the obvious. The fields are still ripe for harvesting (cf. Jn 4:35); God continues to give the growth (cf. 1 Cor 3:6). We can and must believe, with the late Pope John Paul II, that God is preparing a new springtime for Christianity (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 86). What is needed above all, at this time in the history of the Church in America, is a renewal of that apostolic zeal which inspires her shepherds actively to seek out the lost, to bind up those who have been wounded, and to bring strength to those who are languishing (cf. Ez 34:16),” the Pope said.

Vocations Today

3. The Holy Father is asked to comment on the decline in vocations despite the growing numbers of the Catholic population, and on the reasons for hope offered by the personal qualities and the thirst for holiness which characterize the candidates who do come forward.

The Holy Father took an unflinching look at the situation of vocations to the priesthood in his answer. “Let us be quite frank: the ability to cultivate vocations to the priesthood and the religious life is a sure sign of the health of a local Church. There is no room for complacency in this regard,” he said. 

While one might have expected the Pope to say that the Church needs better recruitment or something similar, he pointed to prayer instead. “Strange to say, I often think that prayer - the unum necessarium - is the one aspect of vocations work which we tend to forget or to undervalue!”

In his remarks the Pontiff noted that there is not just a need for praying for vocations but also a need to teach young people how to pray. “To the extent that we teach young people to pray, and to pray well, we will be cooperating with God's call. Programs, plans and projects have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God's call,” he instructed.

“Finally, I think you know from experience that most of your brother priests are happy in their vocation. I would close by encouraging you to foster opportunities for ever greater dialogue and fraternal encounter among your priests, and especially the younger priests. I am convinced that this will bear great fruit for their own enrichment, for the increase of their love for the priesthood and the Church, and for the effectiveness of their apostolate,” the Holy Father said.

 

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White House dinner held honoring Pope Benedict

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - A White House dinner held this evening in honor of Pope Benedict XVI was attended by about 250 prominent guests, including all five Catholic Supreme Court Justices, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Associated Press reports.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, the two leading Democratic candidates for president were not invited.  They had a nationally broadcast debate scheduled for Wednesday night.

Other attendees at the White House dinner included former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team Tommy Lasorda, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus Carl Anderson, the president of Catholic Relief Services Ken Hackett, and biographer of Pope John Paul II George Weigel.  More than 20 members of the clergy from around the country also were in attendance.

According to the Associated Press, the menu included morel-encrusted diver scallops, spatzle, angel hair asparagus bisque, veal, white truffle-potato dumplings, carrots and mushrooms, lettuces and candied pumpkin seeds, squash carpaccio, pumpkin oil vinaigrette, raspberry crisp and mint coulis.

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Archbishop Chaput reacts to Pope's address

Washington D.C., Apr 16, 2008 (CNA) - Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput reacted to the Pope’s address to the U.S. bishops by agreeing with the Pontiff’s emphases on the need for Catholics to be present in the public square and to buttress family life.
 
“The part I found of personal interest was his ideas on being in the public square: the priority of Catholics being clear and united in their voice, in their presence, being leaven in society; about family issues, life issues, marriage issues…it was a wonderfully comprehensive presentation,” Chaput said.
 
The archbishop also recalled the theological and scriptural appropriateness of the U.S. bishops meeting with the Pope, the successor of St. Peter.
 
“The Church has this tradition of the bishops counseling with Peter to make sure that our preaching and teaching is faithful to the apostolic tradition and that happened today. We went to him to take his view of our ministry and then he confirmed us in our faith, which is a wonderful gift,” the archbishop explained.     
 
When asked if there was anything that surprised him in the Pope’s address the archbishop said that no section surprised him, but that he was surprised at how comprehensive the talk was.
 
“He spent a lot of time talking about the family, which is the first priority of the Bishops’ conference, but I was surprised how focused he was on that.”  Chaput also added that he was, “especially happy about the amount of time he spent on that issue.” 
 
Asked if there was a section that the Catholics in Denver should focus on, Archbishop Chaput said “well it wasn’t a long talk, so I think they should read it all.” “None of it was terribly esoteric or beyond the reach of people.” 

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