Skip to content

Benedict XVI's Address on Arrival in Germany

"A Sign of the Church's Vitality"

COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 19, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today on his arrival at the Cologne-Bonn airport, after being greeted by German President Horst Köhler.

* * *

Mr. President,
Distinguished Political and Civil Authorities,
Your Eminences and Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear Citizens of the Federal Republic,
My Dear Young People!

With deep joy I find myself for the first time after my election to the Chair of Peter in my beloved homeland, in Germany. With deep emotion I thank God who has enabled me to begin my pastoral visits outside Italy with this visit to the nation of my birth. I have come to Cologne for the 20th World Youth Day, which had already been planned by my predecessor, the unforgettable Pope John Paul II.

I am sincerely grateful to all present for the warm welcome given to me. My respectful greeting goes first to the president of the Federal Republic, Mr. Horst Köhler, whom I thank for the gracious words of welcome which he addressed to me in the name of all the citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. I also express my gratitude to the representatives of the government, the members of the diplomatic corps and the civil and military authorities. With fraternal affection I greet the pastor of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner. My greeting also goes to the other bishops, the priests, men and women religious, and to all those engaged in various pastoral activities in the German-speaking dioceses. At this moment I also greet with affection all those living in the different Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In these days of intense preparation for the World Youth Day, the dioceses of Germany, and the diocese and city of Cologne in particular, have been enlivened by the presence of very many young people from different parts of the world. I wish to thank all those who have so competently and generously helped to organize this worldwide ecclesial event. I am grateful to the parishes, religious institutes, associations, civil organizations and the many individuals who have offered hospitality and so friendly a welcome to the thousands of pilgrims coming here from different continents. The Church in Germany and the people of the German Federal Republic can be proud of their long tradition of openness to the global community; among other things, this is seen in their many initiatives of solidarity, particularly on behalf of developing countries.

In this spirit of esteem and acceptance toward all those who come from different cultures and traditions, we are about to experience World Youth Day in Cologne. That so many young people have come to meet the Successor of Peter is a sign of the Church's vitality. I am happy to be with them, to confirm their faith and to enliven their hope. At the same time, I am sure that I will also receive something from them, especially from their enthusiasm, their sensitivity and their readiness to face the challenges of the future.

And so I greet the young people themselves, and all those who have welcomed them in these event-filled days. In addition to intense moments of prayer, reflection and celebration with them and with all those taking part in the various scheduled events, I will have an opportunity to meet the bishops, to whom even now I extend a warm greeting. I will also meet the representatives of the other churches and ecclesial communities, make a visit to the synagogue for a meeting with the Jewish community, and also welcome the representatives of some Islamic communities. These meetings are important steps along the journey of dialogue and cooperation in our shared commitment to building a more just and fraternal future, a future which is truly more human.

During this World Youth Day we will reflect together on the theme: "We Have Come To Worship Him" (Matthew 2:2). This is a precious opportunity for thinking more deeply about the meaning of life as a "pilgrimage," guided by a "star," in search of the Lord. Together we shall consider the Magi, who, coming from various distant lands, were among the first to recognize the promised Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Virgin Mary, and to bow down in worship before him (cf. Matthew 2:1-12).

The ecclesial community and the city of Cologne have a special link with these emblematic figures. Like the Magi, all believers -- and young people in particular -- have been called to set out on the journey of life in search of truth, justice and love. The ultimate goal of the journey can only be found through an encounter with Christ, an encounter which cannot take place without faith.

Along this interior journey we can be guided by the many signs with which a long and rich Christian tradition has indelibly marked this land of Germany: from great historical monuments to countless works of art found throughout the country, from documents preserved in libraries to lively popular traditions, from philosophical inquiry to the theological reflection of her many great thinkers, from the spiritual traditions to the mystical experience of a vast array of saints. Here we find a rich cultural and spiritual heritage which even today, in the heart of Europe, testifies to the fruitfulness of the Christian faith and tradition.

The diocese and the region of Cologne, in particular, keep the living memory of great witnesses to Christian civilization. Among others, I think of Saint Boniface, Saint Ursula, Saint Albert the Great, and, in more recent times, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) and Blessed Adolph Kolping. May these, our illustrious brothers and sisters in the faith, who down the centuries have held high the torch of holiness, be "models" and "patrons" of the World Youth Day which we now celebrate.

To all of you here present I renew my deep gratitude for your gracious welcome, and I pray to the Lord for the future of the Church and of society as a whole in this Federal Republic of Germany, so dear to my heart. May this country's long history and her great social, economic and cultural attainments be an incentive to renewed commitment in the pursuit of authentic progress, solidarity and development, not only for the German nation, but for the other peoples of the Continent as well.

May the Virgin Mary, who presented the Child Jesus to the Magi when they arrived in Bethlehem to worship the Savior, continue to intercede for us, just as for centuries she has kept watch over the German people from her many shrines throughout the German Lander. May the Lord bless everyone here present, together with all the pilgrims and all who live in this land. May God protect the Federal Republic of Germany!

[Translation of the German original issued by the Vatican press office]

Contact

The Vatican
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Pope, Benedict, World, Youth,Vatican, Radio, Germany

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.