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Pope, Bush Share Common Values

Posted April. 18, 2008 03:21,   


Pope Benedict XVI, visiting the United States, shared common values with President George W. Bush during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday.

In a joint statement released after the 45-minute meeting with President Bush, the pope said, “I strongly oppose to those using religions or terrorism as a tool to justify immoral and violent behaviors against innocent people.”

In the statement, the pope and the U.S. president said, “Concerning the war against terrorism, we addressed that there should be some proper measures to respect human dignity and human rights.”

This indicates that the pope indirectly criticized Bush for having harsh torture interrogation methods against terrorist suspects in place, which recently came under heavy criticism in the United States.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino could not respond to the pope’s remarks.

Benedict XVI and President Bush found a wide range of common ground in issues including abortion, same sex marriage and stem cell research. But there were some differences in their opinions on Iraq war, capital punishment, U.S. sanction against Cuba.

In particular, the pope made a meaningful remark, saying, “Meeting the urgent calling for humanitarian efforts, the United States has shown its leniency to assist those fallen victim to the natural disasters. I am confident that such interest in carrying out greater humanity will serve as a basis for resolving conflicts, facilitating progress, and making more diplomatic efforts down the road.”

There was a welcoming ceremony for the pope on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday. The pope paraded the downtown of Washington, D.C. after finishing his visit to the White House, and held a prayer meeting with U.S. cardinals and bishops in the evening.

After the meeting, he said he was "deeply ashamed" of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that stained the U.S. Catholic Church and admonished the bishops attending the meeting for the U.S. Catholic Church’s mishandling of the case.

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass in Washington on Thursday morning (local time) at Nationals Park where 46,000 are expected to attend and another Mass in Yankee Stadium in New York on Sunday.

The U.S. Catholic Church distributed 103,000 free admission tickets to local parishes and surrounding dioceses. Due to huge audience eager to attend the gathering, however, tickets have been sold in black markets in New York and Washington, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Letters are featured on the discussion board on the Web site of U.S. online network Craigslist, saying, “My mother very much likes to attend papal Mass. Is there anyone who has a ticket and is willing to sell it for $200?” or “I have two tickets for papal Mass at Yankees stadium. $150 for each one.”

A New Yorker also left a massage under the title of “Papal Mass ticket for $1,000,” saying, “Family looking to purchase tickets to attend papal Mass. Please show tickets at any price. Peace.”

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