.- The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, emphasized that Pope Benedict XVI’s major apostolic trips of 2006, “have set foundations and have planted very fertile seeds in the international community, in local churches, as well as in the Universal Church."
The Prelate highlighted the Pope’s trip to Poland saying that for Pope Benedict it was, "a great act of gratitude for the nation that gave us Pope John Paul II - a nation that has suffered during its history because of extremism and regimes that tormented it."
The Pope, recalled Cardinal Bertone, "was received…not as a foreigner but like the Vicar of Christ, with a lot of enthusiasm on the part of the Polish Church, a Church that is alive, brave, faithful, and one that has been immersed, as we have indicated before, in moments of uncertainty."
In Bertone’s opinon, the trip to Germany "allowed the Holy Father to rekindle the relation between faith and reason, a topic much loved by John Paul II and one that Pope Benedict has taken up again, developed, and expanded on with his reflections - first as a cardinal and now as Pope."
The Cardinal said, the Pope’s visit to his homeland "made the foundation for his important trip to Turkey: a trip focused on approaching the problem of Islam - with its central speeches and the meetings with religious and political personalities of that world, of that nation, of the Islamic world.”
Therefore, Bertone said, the trip was, “the trip of openness, of the extraordinary reception and the reaffirmation of the firm intention of the Church to continue the Dialogue and the convergence of all the healthy resources of the religions and of the societies to reach the progress, the promotion of life, the family and of peace.”
"The trip to Spain focused on the role of the family, of the true family in accordance with the plan of God, of the family based on marriage, on the relation between man and woman and on the identity of man and woman that should not be replaced by any intention or human project," assured Cardinal Bertone.
“Thousands upon thousands of families met in Spain," continued the Prelate, "they are also proof of the will that society desires to continue the plan of God for the family, despite the difficult moments, the sufferings, the difficulties of a modern life at times very intricate and complex, above all in the family life, that at times is neither protected, nor accompanied by adequate legislative nor economic initiatives."