Is the pope planning another trip to Germany?

April 3, 2008

Bild logoWhen journalists are all looking one way, a good reporter loves to find a scoop somewhere else. Most religion journalists (uncluding us) are naturally gearing up for the first papal visit to the United States, coming up April 15-20. The popular German daily Bild seems to have scooped us all with its report today that Pope Benedict is planning to visit his native Germany next year.

Pope John Paul II at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, 23 June 1996/Reinhard KrauseWe’ve asked at the Vatican and they said the pope’s 2009 travel schedule had not yet been worked out. They don’t usually confirm trips until a few months before them anyway, so it is unlikely we’ll hear anything firm from them anytime soon. Reuters wouldn’t put out a story on this without official confirmation, but we can tell you here about this report.

Bild, which is often very well informed, has quite a bit of detail, a telltale sign they probably got this from German officials involved in the planning. It says Benedict is due to visit Berlin and Erfurt in the ex-communist east on his third trip to Germany as pope (after the Cologne World Youth Day in 2005 and Bavaria in 2006). The Eichsfeld region near Erfurt is one of the few Catholic areas in eastern Germany.

“The premier of Thuringia state, Dieter Althaus, this morning handed over the invitation, which was coordinated with the German president, to the pope. And he accepted it gladly!” the daily wrote in a story posted on its website.

“As has learned, Pope Benedict XVI will probably come in the second half of April to Germany. An arrival in Berlin, meeting with the German president and government as well as Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit are planned.

Erfurt’s Cathedral Hill (at memorial service for 16 killed in a school shooting), 3 May 2002/Kai Pfaffenbach“In the tradition of John Paul II, who held his famous ‘freedom speech’ at the Brandenburg Gate in 1996, his successor will also dignify this historic place. He may also give a speech… His arrival is planned for a Friday evening and he is supposed to fly by helicopter on Saturday morning to Heiligenstadt in Thuringia. He will presumably be met on the grounds of Scharfenstein Castle in Eichsfeld by thousands of the faithful for a Mass. The pope will also say his Sunday Angelus prayer there.

Afterwards it’s off to Erfurt. The Cathedral Hill there is a powerful symbol of the Catholic self-confidence in Eichsfeld, where Catholic Christians resisted the system both during the Nazi era and the East German dictatorship. The departure for Rome is planned from Erfurt.

“During his visit to his native Bavaria, critics called on Benedict to visit eastern Germany. Now Christians in eastern Germany will have their own papal visit!”

UPDATE: Our Berlin bureau advises that Germany is expecting to hold a general election next year, probably in September or October. After the U.S., that would make it the second trip he’d make to a country about to hold a national election (something I thought he tried not to do). I’ve seen the speculation in U.S. media about the possible effects the papal visit could have on the vote there. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens in Germany.

One comment

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He (Benedict XVI) hasn’t even made to America yet. Of course, the Vatican plans its foreign trips well in advance; I believe Mexico is also planned for 2009. Athens is ready – that is, Athens, Georgia is ready – for his trip to the U.S. I am warning Athenians of this Church’s agenda: Christian unity. Unity with the Church of Rome is the greatest threat this world faces, even more so than terrorists carrying cell phones to detonate an IED. Spiritual warfare is far more powerful than any weapon created by man because your eternal existence – Heaven or Hell- is determined on who you follow: Jesus Christ, or the Roman Catholic Church that claims, the following:

“To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.” – CCC 845

“The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation.”

That is simply not true, yet the Vatican is calling for all religions to unite under her banner. Believe it or not, many religions (and Christian “communities”) are ready to throw in the towel. She believes its God’s plan to unite Christians, and ultimately, all religions so that they “may be one”:

“Together with all Christ’s disciples, the Catholic Church bases upon God’s plan her ecumenical commitment to gather all Christians into unity.” From JP II’s Encyclical Ut Unum Sint (see #5)

“Ecumenism is not only an internal question of the Christian Communities. It is a matter of the love which God has in Jesus Christ for all humanity; to stand in the way of this love is an offence against him and against his plan to gather all people in Christ.” Ut Unum Sint (see #99)

This (the Roman Catholic Church) is not the true Church of Christ. It is the Church of the Antichrist. Jesus said that He came, not to bring peace to the earth, but a sword (division). (Matthew 10:34) Why? Because of the gospel. Jesus said He is the only way (John 14:6) Yet, Rome is seeking peace with all the world’s religions. On April 17, 2008, Benedict will be meeting 200 religious leaders to discuss peace and mutual understanding in D.C.
He’ll receive a Quran (Koran) from the Muslim community, a bell (for meditation purposes) from the Buddhist community and other “gifts.”

Google “Heart of all religions and zenit”

Say no to Rome and its ecumenical agenda

Posted by Kenneth M. Daugherty | Report as abusive