Bush Readies Big Welcome for Pope

By  | 

White House (AP) President Bush doesn't usually pick up a world leader at the airport. But he's pulling out all the stops for Pope Benedict.

Bush will greet the Pope at Andrews Air Force Base outside the nation's capital tomorrow. He's also bringing thousands of people to the south lawn Wednesday morning and hosting a fancy meal in the Pope's honor at the White House. Benedict, who turns 81 Wednesday, won't be there, however. He'll be at a prayer service with bishops at a Washington basilica.

The Bush-Benedict get-together will be the 25th meeting between a Pope and a sitting U.S. President.

Thursday morning, there will be a mass at Washington's new baseball park.

Later in his six-day visit, the Pope travels to New York for an address to the U.N. and mass at Yankee Stadium.