Pope Benedict is now in Germany: opening remarks

The Holy Father is in his native place, Germany.  The liberal German press and many groups have, in a way even nastier than what we saw in England, tried to poison the Pope’s visit before the fact.  I suspect he will have a warmer visit than the haters desire.

Pope Benedict’s visit to Scotland and England, almost exactly a year ago, was a state visit, rather than an apostolic visit.  This is also an official visit.  However, the Pope will address all the pressing issues through his special perspective.

Therefore, as he arrived in Germany he said, among other things:

Even though this journey is an official visit which will reinforce the good relations existing between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Holy See, I have not come here primarily to pursue particular political or economic goals, as other statesmen rightly do, but rather to meet people and to speak about God.

We are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society, which considers the issue of truth as something of an obstacle in its decision-making, and instead gives priority to utilitarian considerations.

All the same, a binding basis for our coexistence is needed; otherwise people live in a purely individualistic way. Religion is one of these foundations for a successful social life. “Just as religion has need of freedom, so also freedom has need of religion.” These words of the great bishop and social reformer Wilhelm von Ketteler, the second centenary of whose birth is being celebrated this year, remain timely.

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. The man who feels a duty to truth and goodness will immediately agree with this: freedom develops only in responsibility to a greater good. Such a good exists only for all of us together; therefore I must always be concerned for my neighbours. Freedom cannot be lived in the absence of relationships

In human coexistence, freedom is impossible without solidarity. 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. I can truly develop as a free person only by using my powers also for the welfare of others. This holds true not only in private matters but also for society as a whole. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, society must 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.

I noticed that little coverage of this visit has been offered to people by the main stream media.

I wonder why….

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tealady24 says:

    Maybe because of the Pope’s words in the 4th paragraph. All of them.
    It still boggles my mind that a good portion of a country could have laid itself down for a ruthless dictator eighty years ago.
    Turn to God when all goes wrong, don’t turn to Satan.

  2. Phil_NL says:

    Slightly off-topic, but does someone have a link to the Holy Father’s itinerary? (as I’ll happen to be in Germany myself soon)

  3. Campionsbrag says:

    How good is our Pope? He consistently finds beautiful ways to proclaim his consistent messsage, always sounding fresh and original, and ever- courteous to his hosts.

    Thank you God for BXVI! Ad multos annos

  4. AnAmericanMother says:

    May God abundantly bless, sustain, and preserve this dear, dear good man and Holy Father!

  5. Schiavona says:

    Phil_NL, try here:

    Der Spiegel offered a bit of balance today: “Benedict XVI is the embodiment of resistance to the idiocies of today, when the obsession with ratings and sex are more important than any article of faith.”

    I have trust in our Pope. He’ll conquer the prejudices and surprise his critics, yet again. Like many of Fr Z’s readers, I’m watching this visit closely and reading the addresses as they come out.

  6. irishgirl says:

    Bravo to Benedict the Brave!
    I pray that his visit is a safe one, and that the German people and nation WILL LISTEN to his message!
    Speaking of non-coverage, I was curious that EWTN didn’t have anything on their TV schedule. I emailed the network, and I got a reply stating that they will be covering the visit.

  7. Centristian says:

    “Freedom requires a primordial link to a higher instance.”

    You know he stole that line from Sarah Palin.

    You know I’m kidding. “Popespeak” I call this. Even though (alas) they no longer employ the pluralis majestatis, the popes of Rome still manage to employ a very elevated speech that reminds listeners that they are in the presence of the most august personage on earth. This “popespeak” isn’t designed to do that, I imagine, but it manages to. A pope’s speech is at once regal, pastoral, and cerebral. I’m always intrigued by a pope’s choice of words.

  8. Schiavona says:

    Standing ovation in Bundestag! Not bad, not at all, after all the fuss.

  9. Jason Keener says:

    The Pope should be more specific, I think, and clearly point out that the True Catholic Religion, and not just religion in general, is the only true foundation for a successful social life. Islam, Buddhism, and even Protestant religions that have seriously corrupted the teachings of Christ and the Church He established, can hardly serve as a foundation for a good culture. Moreover, as Pope Pius XI taught in “Quas Primas,” Christ is not only the salvation of the individual but the salvation of society.

    I also think it would be great if the Pope called the German people to a conversion and re-conversion to the True Catholic Faith by using some arguments from traditional Catholic apologetics that demonstrate the divine founding of the Catholic Church, Her miraculous permanence throughout the ups and downs of history, etc.

  10. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    Axios to Papi Rimstim Benidicto!

    As an Orthodox priest I truly admire the Holy Father of Rome in his fortitude and vigilance to stand for religious liberty. East and West must now stand together in solidarity against the rising demographic of secularism and Islamic fundamentalism, that as it stands currently, will sweep over all Europe in the not to distant future. May God grant him many more years of worthy service to our Holy Mother Church!

  11. Laura R. says:

    The Holy Father has been magnificent in all his visits, but it seems to me that he can have an even greater impact during this one simply because he is returning to his native land and addressing the people in the native language he shares with them. I think, hope and pray that the liberal press and politicians in Germany are going to be very disappointed indeed.

  12. Laura R. says:

    Something of a correction: I just read in Whispers in the Loggia that His Holiness won’t be going strictly to his native land (Bavaria) or to a Catholic stronghold like Cologne. Still, a shared language is a shared language.

  13. Brad says:

    Here I hear the Holy Father referring to the nature of sin: so-called personal sin does not merely reflexively harm the one who commits it, but all such sins, in their horrifying number, collectively harm the fellow souls, the lesser creatures, the world, the environment (not using that last word in the hippy sense). Oh, how this vale of tears would change if sin was reduced.

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