Benedict XVI to Youth: Dare to be Saints

Saturday, September 24, 2011 3:38 PM Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims as he arrives for a prayer Vigil with young people in Freiburg September 24, 2011.(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

“Dare to be glowing saints, in whose eyes and hearts the love of Christ beams and who thus bring light to the world,” the Pope said to young people at this evening’s prayer Vigil in Freiburg. “I am confident that you and many other young people here in Germany are lamps of hope that do not remain hidden. “You are the light of the world”.”

In a powerful discourse the Holy Father gave firm words of encouragement to the thousands of youth present.

He explained to them that belief needs to be supported by the faith of others, that they cannot remain silent about the existence of evil, that they can become saints, and that they must allow Christ to burn within themselves.

“In the final...READ MORE

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Pope: Church Must Seek New Paths of Evangelization

Saturday, September 24, 2011 1:49 PM Comments (2)

The Holy Father waves to the crowd from the popemobile as he arrives to visit the Freiburg Cathedral, September 24, 2011. (Reuters)

The Pope arrived in Freiburg this afternoon where, on this intensive trip, he had four meetings: with Orthodox Church leaders, seminarians, Church lay representatives, and the former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

In his message to the Orthodox (full text below), the Holy Father encouraged a “common engagement” of Christians to “oppose vigorously every manipulative and selective intervention in the area of human life”. He called on both churches to build a society “equipped for the future”, and singled out defense of marriage and the family as a main concern.

To the Central Committee for German Catholics (ZdK), a lay body comprising representatives of various Catholic organizations in...READ MORE

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Benedict XVI: Imitate the Saints by Sharing the Faith

Saturday, September 24, 2011 5:25 AM Comments (0)

In his homily at this morning’s Mass under gloriously sunny skies in Erfurt, Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to those Germans who remained loyal to the faith under Nazism and Communism.

He also encouraged German Christians, who now live in relatively easier times for the Church yet have distanced themselves from it in large numbers, to shape their hard-won freedoms responsibly by imitating the saints and sharing their faith with others.

“Here in Thuringia and in the former German Democratic Republic, you have had to endure first a brown and then a red dictatorship, which acted on the Christian faith like acid rain,” the Pope said. “Many late consequences of that period are still having to...READ MORE

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Pope Meets German Abuse Victims

Saturday, September 24, 2011 5:20 AM Comments (0)

Yesterday evening after returning from Vespers in Etzelsbach, the Holy Father met with German victims of clerical abuse, two women and three men, in the seminary in Erfurt.  The meeting lasted for half an hour, during which the Pope expressed “deep compassion and regret” at the suffering of those abused by members of the clergy.

The full English text of the statement released by the Holy See Press Office:

This evening, in the seminary at Erfurt, Pope Benedict XVI met with a group of victims of sexual abuse committed by priests and church personnel. Subsequently he greeted some people who care for those injured by these crimes.

Moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims,...READ MORE

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Benedict XVI Visits Catholic Enclave, Stresses Marian Devotion

Friday, September 23, 2011 12:36 PM Comments (0)

The Virgin Mary “wants to help us grasp the breadth and depth of our Christian vocation,” the Holy Father told a large number of pilgrims at Vespers this evening in Etzelsbach, a Marian Shrine and chapel of pilgrimage in the German region of Thuringen. “With a mother’s tenderness, she wants to make us understand that our whole life should be a response to the love of our God, who is so rich in mercy.”

Benedict XVI explained the meaning and purpose of Marian devotion, stressing that it is not “self-fulfilment that truly enables people to flourish, according to the model that modern life so often proposes to us.” That, he said, “can easily turn into a sophisticated form of selfishness.”...READ MORE

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Pope's Sermon at Luther's Augustinian Monastery - Full Text

Friday, September 23, 2011 6:06 AM Comments (0)

The Holy Father this morning met representatives from the German Evangelical Church in the Augustinian monastery of Erfurt. Martin Luther entered the monastery in 1505 and lived there until 1511. The monastery became Protestant in 1525 and was secularized in 1559. Today it is a nationally and internationally recognized conference and meeting center:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I begin to speak, I would like first of all to thank you for this opportunity to come together with you. I am particularly grateful to Pastor Schneider for greeting me and welcoming me into your midst with his kind words. At the same time I want to express my thanks for the particularly gracious gesture that our...READ MORE

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Pope's Address to Germany's Muslim Representatives - Full Text

Friday, September 23, 2011 6:02 AM Comments (3)

The Holy Father this morning met representatives of Germany’s Muslim communities at the Apostolic Nunciature in Berlin. 

Dear Muslim Friends,

I am glad to be able to welcome you here, as the representatives of different Muslim communities in Germany. From my heart I thank Professor Mouhanad Khorchide for his kind greeting. His words show me what a climate of respect and trust has grown up between the Catholic Church and the Muslim communities in Germany.

Berlin is a good place for a meeting like this, not only because the oldest mosque on German territory is located here, but also because Berlin has the largest Muslim population of all the cities in Germany.

From the 1970s onwards, the...READ MORE

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Text of Pope's Homily at Berlin's Olympic Stadium

Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:20 PM Comments (1)

Dear Brother Bishops,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As I look around the vast arena of the Olympic Stadium, where you have gathered today in such large numbers, my heart is filled with great joy and confidence. I greet all of you most warmly – the faithful from the Archdiocese of Berlin and the Dioceses of Germany as well as the many pilgrims from neighbouring countries. It was fifteen years ago that Berlin, the capital of Germany, was first visited by a Pope. We all remember vividly the visit of my venerable predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, and the beatification of the Berlin Cathedral Provost Bernhard Lichtenberg – together with Karl Leisner – here in this very place.

If we consider...READ MORE

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin