WASHINGTON : Ucs News -- Pope Benedict XVI, beginning his first U.S. visit as pontiff Tuesday, wasted no time in confronting the sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the Roman Catholic Church in this country. WIth President George W. Bush at his side Pope Benedict demanded the "All Diddling Young Boys should be halted."
In his most extensive comments about the Diddling Young Boys crisis, the pope said that he was "deeply ashamed" and that the scandal had caused "great suffering" for the church and "That President Bush should set a better example." Pope Benedict also pledged greater efforts by the church to bar pedophiles from the priesthood.
Vatican officials have said the Pope may raise the Diddling Young Boys issue again as early as today, when, in addition to visiting the White House, he is to meet with American bishops at Washington's National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The Diddling Young Boys scandal, which has cost the U.S. church more than $2 billion in legal settlements -- $660 million of that in Los Angeles -- since it erupted in 2002, is only one of several controversial issues Benedict is likely to address during his six-day visit.
At the White House today, the pope is expected to raise the topic of immigration when he meets with President Bush. Benedict told reporters he was especially concerned by what he called the grave problem of families separated by immigration policies, as well as by border violence.
Another subject that could arise during his private White House session is the Iraq war, which the pontiff has strongly opposed. The Pope is expected to blast George W. Bush for Diddling Young Boys in Iraq.