Loading
Pope Benedict arrives in Germany 'to speak about God'
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Germany at the beginning of a four-day state visit. At the official welcoming ceremony he told crowds that he had come back to his homeland “to meet people and to speak about God.”

“I was born in Germany. Such roots cannot be severed, nor should they be,” the Pope told reporters on his flight from Rome to Berlin’s Tegel Airport, where he was greeted by German President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
He said aboard the plane that he was relaxed about those who are protesting against his visit because “that is normal in a free society.”

The Pope also fielded questions from the media on the issue of clerical abuse, suggesting that he understood why some victims may be tempted to say “this is not my church anymore.” But he explained that Church is an institution which catches both “good and bad fish.”

After being greeted at the airport, Pope Benedict was escorted to the German president’s residence at Berlin’s Bellevue Palace, where he was officially welcomed by President Wulff.

The Pope noted that in Germany, and elsewhere, there is a significant indifference to religion, with some people considering “the issue of truth as something of an obstacle” to society’s decision-making, and instead giving “priority to utilitarian considerations.”

Yet, he noted, “a binding basis for our coexistence is needed; otherwise people live in a purely individualistic way.” Religion, said the Pope, provides that and is “one of the foundations for a successful social life.”

“Freedom requires a primordial link to a higher instance. The fact that there are values which are not absolutely open to manipulation is the true guarantee of our freedom,” he said.

He suggested that such freedom “develops only in responsibility to a greater good” and “cannot be lived in the absence of relationships.” Pope Benedict explained that these necessities for freedom lead to the two key principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

Solidarity, he explained, is our responsibility towards others, since “what I do at the expense of others is not freedom but a culpable way of acting which is harmful to others and also to myself.”

The Pope then turned to the principle of subsidiarity, which he defined as the idea that communal concerns are best addressed by at the lowest possible institutional level. This requires society to “give sufficient space for smaller structures to develop and, at the same time, must support them so that one day they will stand on their own.”

Both these principles, he said, have helped modern Germany to “become what it is today thanks to the power of freedom shaped by responsibility before God and before one another.”

He concluded by saying that he hoped his visit can “make a small contribution” towards a “profound cultural renewal” and a “rediscovery of fundamental values” which can lead to a better future for all.

Pope Benedict then had private meetings with both President Wulff and Chancellor Merkel before taking a break in his day for lunch at the city’s Catholic Academy.

Later today the Pope will speak before the German parliament, before making his way to the Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, where he will celebrate Mass before an anticipated audience of 70,000.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
21

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14