Raw Story reports, “The White House has scheduled a dinner next week in honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States, but one guest will be conspicuously absent from the proceedings: the pope himself. There are no competing events listed on the pope’s schedule, and the White House was unable to explain Benedict’s absence from the dinner.” During Friday’s White House press briefing, press spokesman Scott Stanzel was stumped in explaining why the Pope would not attend:
Q: I’m sorry, the Pope doesn’t attend a dinner in his honor?
MR. STANZEL: No.
Q: How does that work?
MR. STANZEL: He doesn’t come into the building.
Q: But then it’s not a dinner for the Pope, is it?
MR. STANZEL: It’s in honor of his visit. There will be leaders from the Catholic community from all over the country who are in town for that visit.
Q: Is there a reason the Pope doesn’t attend the dinner?
MR. STANZEL: I don’t know. I don’t have the full extent of his schedule.
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