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Pope's schedule set for September visit to Germany

Catholic World News - July 20, 2011

The Vatican has released the schedule for the September trip by Pope Benedict XVI to Germany. During the visit, which will take place September 22 to 25, the Holy Father will meet with the country’s government leader, Angela Merkel, and with representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, Orthodox, and Evangelical faiths as well as Catholics. The packed papal schedule includes stops in three different cities, with several public appearances every day.

The Pope will leave Rome’s Ciampino airport on Thursday morning, September 22, for the 2-hour flight to Berlin. After a welcome ceremony and a courtesy call on the country’s president, Christian Wulff, he will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel at the office of the German bishops’ conference. That afternoon he will visit the parliament, then meet speak to Jewish leaders, before celebrating Mass in the evening at the Olympic stadium.

On Friday morning the Pope will meet with Muslim leaders in Berlin. Then he will board a short flight to Erfurt, where he will visit the city’s cathedral and hold an ecumenical service with members of the German Evangelical Church Council. In the afternoon he will travel by helicopter to Etzelsbach for a Vespers service, then return to Erfurt for the night.

On Saturday morning, after celebrating Mass at Erfurt, the Pope will board another flight, headed for Freiburg, where he will visit the seminary. Then he will have a series of meetings: with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, with Orthodox leaders, with Catholic seminarians, and with the Central Committee of German Catholics. That evening he will lead a prayer vigil for your people.

On Saturday the Pope will celebrate Mass at the Freiburg airport. After lunch with the German bishops, he will meet with federal court officials before heading for the airport and his return flight to Rome. He is due back at Ciampino airport at 8:45 pm.

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