WASHINGTON D.C. - Pope Benedict XVI visited the White House and met with President Bush on his 81st birthday Wednesday.This is Pope Benedict?s first visit to the United States as pontiff and only the second time the White House has hosted a papal visit. Bush told the pontiff that millions of Americans have been praying for his visit. He also said that the hearts of American people are open to the pope?s message of hope. Before touching down on U.S. soil Tuesday, the pope addressed the sex scandals that rocked the Catholic Church, one of the themes the pontiff will address during his six-day visit. Later Wednesday, the pope performed a prayer service at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, followed by a two-hour Mass at the Nationals' new ballpark Thursday. Click here for News 12 Brooklyn's extended coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit