White House dinner held honoring Pope Benedict


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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