With great joy I greet you all and I thank you for the warm welcome you have accorded me. After the wonderful meetings that took place in Berlin and Erfurt, I am happy now that I can be here in Freiburg with you, in the warm sunlight. A special word of thanks goes to your dear Archbishop Robert Zollitsch for the invitation – he was so insistent that in the end I had to say, I really must come to Freiburg – and for his gracious words of welcome.
“Where God is, there is a future”, as the motto of these days reminds us. As the Successor of Saint Peter, who was commissioned by the Lord in the Upper Room to strengthen his brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), I have come gladly to you, to this beautiful city, in order to pray together with you, to proclaim the word of God and together to celebrate the Eucharist. I ask for your prayers, that these days will be fruitful, that God will deepen our faith, strengthen our hope and increase our love. During these days, may we become aware once more how much God loves us and that he is truly good. And so we must be full of confidence that he is good to us, that he has power for good, that he carries us and all our cares and concerns in his hands. And we want to place all this consciously into his hands. In him our future is assured: he gives meaning to our lives and he can bring them to fulfilment. May the Lord accompany you in peace and make us all messengers of his peace! Thank you very much for your welcome!