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Pope's message for trip to Germany: restore a place for God

September 19, 2011

Appearing on a German television show on September 19, Pope Benedict XVI said that during his September 22-25 visit to his native country he will bring a simple but challenging message: “We must rediscover our capacity to perceive God.”

The Pope told the German audience that he is looking forward to his visit. “This is not religious tourism; still less is it a 'show,’” he said. The purpose of the visit, he said, is to convey the message: “we must restore God to our horizon—the God Who is so often absent but of Whom we have such great need.”

Listing the major events on the calendar for his trip, the Pontiff laid special emphasis on the visit to Erfurt, to the Augustinian monastery where “Luther began his journey.” There he is scheduled to participate in an ecumenical prayer service with Protestant leaders. “We are not expecting anything sensational,” he said, but the meeting will be “an expression of authentic ecumenism.”

The Pope made his appearance on the “Word on Sunday” (Das Wort zum Sonntag) show on the ARD network—the same show that had featured Blessed John Paul II in 1987. Archbishop Jean Claude Périsset, the apostolic nuncio in Germany, spoke about the Pope’s visit in a Vatican Radio interview. The papal representative said that he thinks the trip will produce positive effects not only for Germany but for Catholics beyond the country’s borders.


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