by Anura Guruge
1/ Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Germany: The Protests — September 20, 2011 post.
2/ Pope’s meeting with Angela Merkel — September 21, 2011 post.
3/ Must watch video on pope’s trip to Germany — September 21, 2011 post.
Click image on right –>>> for more related posts, including detailed schedule etc.
Please refer to the Pope’s trip itinerary for more details, background and pictures.
>> Pope left Rome from Ciampino airport at 8.15 am as planned.
>> Pope Benedict XVI (#266) landed at Berlin-Tegel airport ~10:15 am, a few minutes ahead of schedule. It was the 21st trip away from Italy, his 3rd to his mother land — albeit his first State visit to Germany.
>> Though this had not been initially publicized, he was met on the tarmac by Christian Wulff, the Catholic President of Germany and Angela Merkel, the Chancellor Germany (the daughter of a Lutheran pastor).
>> This pope, unlike John Paul II (#265) of old in his limber days, does not appear to want anything to do with kissing tarmacs. You really can’t blame him given that he is now 84 years old. Getting up and down, in public, from kissing the dirt might be problematic — and having people help you do it will diminish the dignity.
>> Per the ‘standard,’ international protocol for heads of state on State visits he was honored with a 21 gun salute — which does sound incongruous in the case of a religious leader.
>> Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin and Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg im Breisgau, President of the German Bishops’ Conference, were also at hand at the airport to greet the pope. Germany currently has 7 cardinals, 5 of them electors (one of them being the loose-cannon Kasper). There is, however, no mention of any of the cardinals greeting the pope at the airport.
>> The pope traveled by limo to the President’s official residence, Bellevue Castle for a welcome ceremony in the castle grounds.
>> There was a small, muted protest. Here is the video. Click on image below.
>> The pope then had a private meeting with the President and his family inside the castle.
>> The pope then traveled to headquarters of the German Episcopal Conference (DBK) as scheduled. He was greeted by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, President of the DBK.
>> Then the pope, as planned, had a private meeting which Chancellor Merkel in the DBK library. Merkel’s husband, a scientists, and other members of the Chancellor’s entourage then came into meet the pope.
>> Following this meeting, the pope walked to the refectory of the nearby Catholic Academy for lunch.
Some quotes from the pope’s address at the welcome ceremony in the gardens of the Bellevue Castle:
“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’.”
1/ Pope warns German legislators not to abuse power (which may seem rich coming from the pope). Article.