Pope Benedict XVI had his first colloquy with the world media yesterday, report the WP and LAT. Both papers offer similar, unfavorable comparisons between Benedict's aloofness and papal predecessor John Paul II's effusiveness. Benedict, according to the LAT, "took no questions, waved to the crowd stiffly, almost mechanically, and departed after less than 20 minutes." John Paul, on the other hand, "waded into the sea of reporters and spent 40 minutes exchanging comments and quips with them" during his first press conference. The papers agree to call Benedict's performance abysmal, but there is one point of contention—was his throne "simple" (LAT) or "gilt" (WP)? The LAT and the NYT also front longer pieces exploring the roots of Benedict's conservatism in anticipation of today's papal investiture.
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