2008_04_popehope.jpgThis afternoon, Pope Benedict's Shepherd One will touch down at Andrews Air Force Base, where the Pontiff will be greeted by President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. He won't be giving any public statements, but will have various meetings on his 81st birthday eve.

The Pope, who will spend a few days in D.C. before coming to NYC, told reporters on the flight today that he was "deeply ashamed" of Catholic priests who abused generations of young parishioners, "It is more important to have good priests than many priests...It is difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betray in this way their mission ... to children"

Still, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is asking the United Nations to "investigate the pope's role in what they say is a cover up of sexual abuse in the church." And many see Pope Benedict's trip will as an opportunity to encourage more young Catholics to become priests. The Journal News reported the NY Archdiocese is ranked 170th--out of 176 Catholic dioceses in the country-- for seminarians studying for the priesthood.

There's a lot of excitement for this highly choreographed Papal Visit. Millions are being spent in D.C. and NYC for the visit, which can be commemorated by buying Pope swag. While Pope-on-a-rope Soap is hilarious, we think this Obama-inspired Pope poster is funnier.
Limited edition POPE poster from ANIMAL