The Holy Father’s 2011 visit to Germany

Next year the German-born Benedict XVI will have his first state visit to Germany.  His previous visits to Germany were apostolic visits.   During the September 2011 state visit Pope Benedict is slated to address the German Parliament in the Bundestag in Berlin.

The openly homosexual Volker Beck is agitating against Pope Benedict speaking to the German Parliament.

“The German Bundestag is justifiably cautious when inviting a foreign head of state,” Beck told the German daily Die Welt. “Firstly the pope is the head of a religion and secondly the head of a state.”

Here is a Reuters story about the issue.

I suspect there will be protests in Germany that will make those in England look like Afternoon Tea.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. TJerome says:

    Volker Beck sounds like what some would call a “liberal fascist.”

    If Pope Benedict, German native son, head of a world-wide Church and a head of State doesn’t have a right to speak to a German parliament, then just who does?

  2. Ulrich says:

    I am just wondering if he would reject the Queen of England …

    But be sure: There will be “organised catholics”, too. Although the Catholics in GB seem to know better how to handle these problems.

    Does anyone have some recommandations?

  3. scotus says:

    Sorry, Ulrich, but there ain’t no such person as “Queen of England”. There hasn’t been a “Queen of England” since 1707. Since 1707 there have only been Queens (or Kings) of the United Kingdom. Since 1927 the formal title has been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  4. Ulrich says:

    Sorry, but does this really matter? The Queeln of the United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a head of state and the head of 1,5 denominations.

    Does anyone have good advice for pro-pope-protesting?

  5. spesalvi23 says:

    @ Ulrich: there is a group called ‘Deutschland Pro-Papa’, which had organized pro-papa ‘rally’ in Cologne and Munich last summer.

    They actually managed to get a decent number in attendance and invited some guest lecturers and the local clergy.
    The Holy Father recognized the group, by a short meeting with the founder after a Wednesday general audience. From what I have read, he was, in his usual humble way, very happy.

    Here is a link for you:

    For the hopelessly radical-ultra-left-wing- militant-protesters (who WILL certainly be there) I’m hoping to have as many Polish Catholics as possible come across the border for support!
    And, of course, I assume we’ll have a large big Bavarian delegation ‘invading’ the capital of Prussia to show their love for and their loyalty to THEIR native son.

    Erfurt is very close to where I live… I’ll be going there to show my supprt!!

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    The German church is over the hill. The only consequence will be the frothing of the mouths in the news media which will probably spill over into ours. Put into perspective, it will just be more hysteria. That can be ignored because it will have to be. That’s where we are right now.

  7. spesalvi23 says:

    Ther German Church is certainly NOT over the hill!!

    Parts of the episcopate ARE… but they’re getting up there in age.
    We have a few young hopeful Bishops and will have two major ‘free’ seats – even before the Pope comes to visit: Berlin and Mainz (!!).

    We also have a young generation of outspoken, intellignet, well spoken and (not in the bad way) proud Catholics – many of them organized in a group called ‘Generation Benedikt’.

    Everything is down: vocations, attendence, trust, confidence, knowledge… but I would not make the mistake of writing the German Church off… it has survived bigger trials and will also survie this current crisis – but it will certainly be different – as described and/or forseen by Card. Ratzinger in Salt of the Earth.

  8. Victor says:

    It is always fascinating to see how well informed some people seem to be – in fact, better informed than us Germans. So the German church is “over the hill”? What do you base your judgement on? Personally I know many young priests, deacons and candidates, as well as young and thriving parishes that give a completely different impression. But I suppose from Midwestern USA you have a much clearer view, don’t you?
    To be honest, yes, we do have many problems – not the least being bishops who don’t dare speaking their mind, who like to hide behind the Bishops’ conference instead of making bold decisions and sticking to them, and too easily fall into the trap of wanting to be loved by the public. There is a vocational crisis, we had our own pedophily cases (in my eyes, greatly exaggerated, but of course every case is one too much), and our brand of lefty Catholics, the “Wir sind Kirche” (We are Church) folk, are a constant nuisance. But if one is searching, he can find many new beginnings, positive developments and healthy parishes and communities. So not all is black – in fact, most of it seems to be grey, fading into white!
    Concerning Mr Beck, he is a notorious lobbyist for the homosexual cause and not really to be taken seriously.

  9. catholicmidwest says:

    The average Sunday mass attendance in your country is an indicator, as is the number of people opting out to save on taxes.

  10. anna 6 says:

    Not to be a Know-it-all…but I predicted that the UK trip would be a success for two reasons:
    1. The protesters would overplay their hand, in the end causing faithful Catholics and even some others to come out of the woodwork in support of the Pope and the Church…and for that matter, religion in general.
    2. Benedict’s humility, sincerity, holiness and intelligence would win people over as soon as he lands on the ground.
    The same thing will happen in Germany where he will be able to communicate even more effectively in his native tongue and where a degree of German pride will come to the surface.

    There will be fierce protests for sure…but the trip will be a success.

    Just sayin’…

  11. Andreas says:

    Yes, and don’t forget that there will be many devout Austrians there supporting the Holy Father as well.

  12. casey says:

    I am happy to report that the German church still has alot of life left in it. I was a chaperone for the World Youth Day held in Cologne. The number of YOUNG German Catholics was wonderful to see. No question the European Church has some major problems, but there should be great hope for the future.
    My question is always the same…how can such a numerically small group as the gay community cause such an uproar??? Media darlings I suppose…

  13. Jayna says:

    The protests in England did look like afternoon tea.

  14. Legisperitus says:

    This Pope’s enemies always underestimate him. To know him is to love him, and they obviously don’t know him.

    Oremus pro Pontifice.

  15. irishgirl says:

    spesalvi and Victor-I’m half-German (on my mother’s side), so I’ll be ‘rooting’-and praying, of course-for a holy, safe and successful visit of our Papa Benedict to his homeland! And I was happy to read your posts about the ‘green shoots’ coming up among the next generation of Catholics in Germany. You’re ‘on the ground’, so you know what’s going on. May these ‘new roots’ increase!
    casey-yep, the homosexual community ARE ‘media darlings’! That’s why it gets all the publicity when it gets its ‘knickers in a knot’!

  16. The Cobbler says:

    “Does anyone have good advice for pro-pope-protesting?”

    Pizza box, marker and a good not-so-contemporary issue seem to be taken in good stride, if I recall correct. *grin*

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