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Pope Receives Warm Welcome in 1st U.S. Visit

Posted April. 16, 2008 03:26,   


Pope Benedict XVI, who arrived in Washington yesterday, was warmly received by both the government and Catholics of the United States. The religious leader’s six-day visit is the first in 29 years by a pope since Pope John Paul II in 1979.

Quoting a source from the archdiocese of Washington, the New York Times said the pope’s three-day visit in Washington will cost three million dollars. He will also stay in New York for three days at a cost of up to 1.2 million dollars a day, the daily estimated.

The costs include stadium rental fees and admission to national parks, security expenses and other additional costs. When factoring in tighter security against terrorist attacks, the figure is likely to increase.

Washington has pulled out all the stops to receive the pontiff, who will celebrate his 81st birthday during his visit. An official dinner at the White House will be attended by 12,000 guests, 5,000 more than those who joined a dinner for Queen Elizabeth II last year. A gigantic Mass for 60,000 followers is also scheduled at Yankees Stadium in New York.

The archdioceses of Washington and New York will pay most of the bill for the pope’s visit, and are raising funds from Catholics. They are selling papal dolls, T-shirts and souvenirs featuring the pope’s photos. Bumper stickers saying “I love the pope” are also on sale.