Pope Turns Attention To Public With Mass Today

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. greets Pope Benedict XVI, as President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice look on, Wednesday, April 16, 2008, during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Washington (AP) Pope Benedict's U.S. visit continues today with an open air mass in Washington at the city's new baseball stadium.

Organizers have filled all 46,000 seats. They say they received twice that number of ticket requests.

A gold curtain and crucifix provide the backdrop for the largest stage yet on the Pope's six-day U.S. visit.

It's a setting the Pope's charismatic predecessor, John Paul, would have adored. Pope Benedict's substance is similar but his style and personality set him apart. He's a soft-spoken theologian noted for a brilliant mind, but he's less the actor and performer John Paul was.

Yesterday, the Pope confronted the clergy sex scandal head-on and with conviction in an address to U.S. bishops. Benedict called it a “deep shame” and decried the “enormous pain” that communities have suffered from such “gravely immoral behavior.”