Q: There hasn’t seemed to be, from the podium there, a lot of talk about this being a state visit. But it is a state visit.\
Question from a reporter: And do you know of any other state visit in which the guest of honor did not attend the dinner, the state dinner?\
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino: No, I do not know that. But you understand the — what we have said is that we knew we wanted to give this dinner. The Pope had a schedule that he was already planning to have, and the President said that he would like to have the Catholic leaders that came to Washington, D.C., to come to the arrival ceremony today, amongst others, here at the dinner, and they’re very happy to have this event tonight.
— Ralph Z. Hallow, national political reporter, The Washington Times