Benedict XVI: Imitate the Saints by Sharing the Faith

09/24/2011 Comment

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

Filed under benedict xvi, communism, erfurt, germany, homily, nazism, saints

Pope Meets German Abuse Victims

09/24/2011 Comment

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

Filed under benedict xvi, erfurt, germany, sex abuse

Benedict XVI Visits Catholic Enclave, Stresses Marian Devotion

09/23/2011 Comment

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

Filed under benedict xvi, communism, east germany, eichsfeld, etzelsbach, marian devotion, virgin mary

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

09/23/2011 Comment

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

09/23/2011 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

Filed under benedict xvi, berlin, germany, islam, muslims

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

09/22/2011 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

Filed under benedict xvi, berlin, german, mass

Pope's Address to German Parliament

09/22/2011 Comments (7)

Mr President of the Federal Republic,
Mr President of the Bundestag,
Madam Chancellor,
Mr President of the Bundesrat,

Ladies and Gentlemen Members of the House,

It is an honour and a joy for me to speak before this distinguished house, before the Parliament of my native Germany, that meets here as a democratically elected representation of the people, in order to work for the good of the Federal Republic of Germany. I should like to thank the President of the Bundestag both for his invitation to deliver this address and for the kind words of greeting and appreciation with which he has welcomed me. At this moment I turn to you, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, not least as your...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, bundestag, germany, natural law

Benedict XVI Begins Historic Visit to Germany

09/22/2011 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI has begun an historic first official visit to his homeland. 

Shepherd One landed shortly before 10.15 this morning at Berlin’s Tegel airport under sunny autumnal skies. 

The Holy Father was welcomed with full military honors and greeted at the airport by Germany’s President Christian Wulff, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, president of the German Bishops Conference and other dignitaries. 

In his address (full text below) - the first of 17 during the intense four day visit - the Pope, standing on the lawns of Bellevue Castle, the official residence of the German President, laid out his aims for this historic trip with characteristic clarity.

“I...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, germany, religious freedom, secularism

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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