.- Pope Benedict XVI will visit his native Bavaria in 2006, according to officials of the Diocese of Ratisbona (Regensburg), one of the cities where the Pontiff carried out his priestly ministry. According to the announcement, the Holy Father “has accepted the invitation of the city and the diocese,” and the visit could take place in the fall of 2006, although no date has been officially confirmed by the Vatican.
There was some discussion of a possible visit to his native region of Bavaria during Pope Benedict’s trip to Germany for World Youth Day, but the tight schedule for that event has made it impossible.
Although the Pope was born in the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising—he later became its archbishop—he has strong ties to Ratisbona, where he was professor of theology. His brother, Father Georg Ratzinger, is a priest at the city’s Cathedral.