Pope Benedict XVI lands in Washington to begin U.S. visit

By By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI is in the
United States.

Benedict arrived Tuesday on his first papal journey to the U.S. He was greeted off the plane by President Bush, first lady Laura Bush and their daughter, Jenna. The pope waved as he came off the plane and shook hands with the president and his family. Students from a Catholic school squealed at the sight of the Pope.

On the flight to the United States from Rome, Benedict addressed the most painful issue for the Roman Catholic Church in America - clergy sex abuse. The U.S. church has paid out $2 billion in abuse costs since 1950.

The pope said he is "deeply ashamed" of the problem and vowed
to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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