Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Journey to Bavaria Sept. 9-14, 2006

On September 9th, a joyful Pope Benedict "set foot, for the first time since [his] elevation to the Chair of Peter, on German and Bavarian soil," to be among his homeland and his people and visit some cherished places in his life.

The Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Benedict XVI to München, Altötting and Regensburg September 9-14, 2006. The intinerary of the Holy Father's trip is posted to the Vatican website, according to which we've organized the following compilation.

Introduction / General Resources

Saturday 9 September

Papal Addresses

Coverage & Commentary

Sunday 10 September

Papal Addresses

Coverage & Commentary

  • Pope and German Leaders Talk Ecumenism, Meets President Köhler and Chancellor Merkel. Zenit News Service. Sept. 10, 2006.

  • Western Societies Deaf to God, Says Pope Zenit News Service. Sept. 10, 2006:
    Western societies suffer from a "hardness of hearing" of all things that have to do with God, thus impeding a correct perception of reality, says Benedict XVI.

    The Pope said this today when celebrating Mass on Munich's fairgrounds, attended by some 250,000 people, the first Mass of his fourth international trip.

    Addressing his fellow countrymen of Bavaria, the Holy Father said: "There is not only a physical deafness ... there is also a 'hardness of hearing' where God is concerned, and this is something from which we particularly suffer in our own time.

    "Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God -- there are too many different frequencies filling our ears."

  • Benedict XVI challenges Munich crowd to fight relativism, by Bill Howard. Exclusive coverage from the Colorado Catholic Herald. Sept. 10, 2006.

  • A Day in Munich, by Amy Welborn Open Book Sept. 10, 2006.

Monday 11 September

Papal Addresses

Coverage & Commentary

  • AP Pope Benedict makes visit to birthplace, by Victor L. Stimpson. Sept. 11, 2006:
    Benedict XVI spent a sentimental day in his Bavarian homecoming Monday, visiting the town where he was born, the church where he was baptized and his favorite pilgrimage site.

    He was also reunited with his 82-year-old brother, Georg, a retired priest and choir director who prayed with Benedict before the font where he was baptized in tiny Marktl am Inn.

  • Vatican: Act of vandalism against Pope’s house is no cause for concern Sept. 11, 2006:
    The director of the Press Office of Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, indicated yesterday that the actions of vandals against the birth home of Pope Benedict XVI in Bavaria is “a minor incident” and not a cause of major concern.
  • Mary takes center stage at Pope Benedict’s second Mass in Bavaria Altotting, Sep. 11, 2006 (CNA):
    The Marian Shrine of Altötting, one of Bavaria’s most famous pilgrimage sites, was an appropriate place for the second Mass celebrated by the Pope Benedict XVI on his trip home. Mary, the Mother of God and “woman of prayer,” would be the subject of the New Testament readings as well as the homily of the Holy Father. . . .
  • Pope encourages seminarians, priests, and religious to remain with the Lord Altotting, Sep. 11, 2006 (CNA):
    Prior to leaving the town of Altötting for his birthplace of Marktl am Inn, Pope Benedict XVI prayed Vespers with the seminarians, priests, and religious of Bavaria and those who support their vocations. The Pontiff led the evening prayer service from the Basilica of Saint Anne.

    Following the initial prayers of the service, and the Psalms beautifully intoned by a choir, the Pope reflected on the Vocation to the priesthood and religious life. . . .

  • Pope Tells of Key to Awaken Vocations; Meeting at Shrine Turns Toward Prayer Zenit News Service. "Benedict XVI stressed that if Catholics pray with profound faith the Church will receive the vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life that it needs."

  • "Brothers", by Amy Welborn. Open Book Sept. 11, 2006. Three images speak more than a thousand words.

  • Benedict blesses new adoration chapel, stresses role of Mary, by Bill Howard. Colorado Catholic Herald Sept. 11, 2006. On his second full day in Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass and blessed a new Eucharistic adoration chapel in Altotting, led Vespers inside the Cathedral of St. Anne there, visited the home of his birthplace in Marktl am Inn and finished the day at a seminary in Regensburg.

Tuesday 12 September

Papal Addresses

News Coverage & Commentary

  • Faith and reason must come together in a new way, Holy Father says Catholic News Agency. Sept. 12, 2006:
    The former Professor Joseph Ratzinger returned to his old university today to hold a conference on the relation of faith and reason. Pope Benedict XVI told professors and students at the University of Regensburg that, “only if reason and faith come together in a new way” can mankind face the dangerous possibilities now facing it.
    See also:
  • Pope Gives His Cardinal's Ring to Mary at Altoetting Zenit News Service. Sept. 12, 2006:
    Benedict XVI gave his cardinal's ring to the Black Virgin of Altoetting, at the most famous shrine of Germany and the "religious heart" of Bavaria.

    The Holy Father made the gesture Monday. As Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, he received the cardinal's ring in 1977 from Pope Paul VI, who named him cardinal of Munich.

    Vatican sources said that the ring was kept by the Holy Father's brother Georg, 82, who is also a priest and who lives in Regensburg.

    Monsignor Georg Ratzinger gave the Pope the ring on Monday, to give to the Blessed Virgin, to whom he is very devoted.

  • Pope tells Protestants, Orthodox, let us bear witness in love, “that the world may believe” Catholic News Agency. September 15, 2006:
    At the conclusion of his fourth day in Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI prayed with members of Germany’s Orthodox and Protestant community. Leading a Vesper service at Regensburg’s Cathedral, the Pontiff told those gathered that they must not loose track of what is central to their dialogue - their common belief in Christ - and that they should bear witness to their common faith “in such a way that it shines forth as the power of love.”

    The liturgy, which was punctuated by German hymns, common to all traditions, also included traditional Orthodox chant and a response from leaders of all three Christian groups.

    Pope Benedict began his reflection by welcoming the religious leaders and noting that at the heart of the liturgy is the praying of the Psalms, which connects the Christian church with Jewish believers as well. . . .

Wednesday 13 September

Papal Addresses

News Coverage & Commentary

  • Pope Enjoys Private Time Near End of German Trip Deutsche-Welle Sept. 13, 2006: Pope Benedict XVI knelt in prayer at the graves of his mother, father and sister on Wednesday in the emotional highpoint of his six-day visit to his native Bavaria.

  • Benedict XVI Visits Tomb of His Parents and Sister, Spends time with Brother Zenit News Service. Sept. 13, 2006:
    . . . Today, kneeling next to his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, 82, who was standing supported by a walking stick, the Pope recollected himself in prayer for a while at the tomb, covered by red and white roses.

    Written on the stone were the names of his parents -- his father, Joseph Ratzinger, who died in 1959; his mother, Maria, who died in 1963 -- and his sister, also called Maria, who died in 1991.

    After praying, Benedict XVI blessed the tomb with holy water, a gesture which his brother then repeated.

  • Pope’s friends say fame has not changed Joseph Ratzinger. Catholic News Agency. Sept. 13, 2006:
    . . . The Richardi family has also experienced the humility and openness of the Pope. Their friendship with him began at the end of the 1960’s. At that time Mr. Richardi was a professor at the same university where Ratzinger taught. “Here in Pentling he has always been sort of a member of the family,” said Margarete Richardi. It was Joseph Ratzinger who presided at the marriage of their two daughters and baptized their grandchildren. He also recently celebrated Mass for their 40th wedding anniversary.

    The Richardis also told of how the whole family has adopted the Pope. Margarete recalled an instance when her grandson Sebastian, then two, said suddenly, “Cardinal, come here, I want to show you something.” A few minutes later she saw the two kneeling down on the floor and playing dominos together. . . .

  • Regensburg Jewish community treats pope's entourage to a kosher lunch Catholic News Service (by way of Argent by the Tiber):
    REGENSBURG, Germany (CNS) -- The pope's entourage was treated to a kosher lunch at Regensburg's Jewish community center while Pope Benedict XVI dined with his brother. Bishop Gerhard Muller of Regensburg phoned representatives of the local Jewish community and asked if the synagogue community center could host 25 people Sept. 13 while the pope was eating lunch across the street in Msgr. Georg Ratzinger's apartment. The Regensburg Diocese offered to provide the food, but the Jewish community resisted. Any food that comes into the center has to be kosher, and the rabbi has to guarantee it. The synagogue committee suggested its members could provide kosher food for the group. And so the Vatican entourage was treated to a kosher buffet lunch.
  • Pope Tells of Basis for Religious-Cultural Dialogue Zenit News Service. Sept. 13, 2006:
    In an address at the university where he was once a professor, Benedict XVI established the basis for dialogue between cultures and religions: a new relationship between faith and reason.

    The Pope's proposal, presented in an address of an academic nature, resonated Tuesday afternoon in the University of Regensburg's main auditorium.

    In this university, which now has 25,000 students, Joseph Ratzinger was vice rector and professor from 1969 to 1971. . . .

  • Pope emphasizes the “transforming” power of beautiful liturgy Catholic News Agency Sept. 13, 2006:
    Speaking of the tremendous value of the organ as a liturgical instrument, the Pope reminded a group of his native Bavarians today that music and song are “themselves part of the liturgical action,” which makes us more capable, “of transforming the world.”

    On what has been called his “private” day, Pope Benedict XVI remained in the town of Regensburg to take part in a brief ceremony to bless the refurbished organ of the historic Alte Kapelle. Earlier in the day, the 79 year old Pope had celebrated a private Mass at the city’s Seminary of St. Wolfgang.

Thursday 14 September

Papal Addresses

News Coverage & Commentary

  • Pope meets with crowd, neighbors as he visits home in Pentling, by Tess Crebbin. Catholic News Service. Sept. 14, 2006:
    . . . "May God bless you all," [Benedict] said, adding the Bavarian phrase "Vergelt's Gott," which means "May God repay you for your kindness."

    "I want to thank you for your good neighborhood spirit; in our thoughts we will always remain connected," he said.

    Then he walked out among the crowd, separated from the people only by a thin plastic band.

    A police officer told Catholic News Service, "In Pentling, nobody is going to harm him.

  • Pope Urges Witness to Faith in Secularized World Zenit News Agency. Sept. 14, 2006. Benedict XVI bid farewell to Germany, summarizing the key message he wished to leave his homeland on his Bavaria visit: "Those who believe are never alone."

  • Pope tells priests, you must rely on God not your own powers Catholic News Agency Sept. 14, 2006:
    On the last day of his Bavarian Tour Pope Benedict XVI was greeted with applause and broad smiles as he addressed a gathering of priests and permanent deacons at the famed Cathedral of St. Mary in Freising, Germany. The Pontiff abandoned his prepared text to speak to the men from the heart of an Apostle, telling them to recognize the limits of their own powers and to rely upon the Lord. . . .

Post-Journey Appraisals and Wrap-Ups

  • "Benedict Sheds Image of Dour Theologian", announces Victor L. Stimpson. The Guardian Sept. 13, 2006:
    Pope Benedict XVI has delighted fellow Bavarians by wading into crowds and kissing babies, shedding the image of a dour theologian from his quarter-century at the Vatican.

    He is not only growing into his job after 17 months in the papacy, but appears to enjoy it.

  • Munich, Altötting, Regensburg: Diary of a Pilgrimage of Faith, by Sandro Magister. www.Chiesa September 14, 2006. An anthology of the homilies and speeches delivered by Benedict XVI during his trip to Bavaria. “Faith’s vision embraces heaven and earth, past, present and future, eternity. And yet it is simple...”

Giving credit where credit is due, this post would not be possible were it for the excellent coverage of Amy Welborn (Open Book), Gerard Augustinus (Closed Cafeteria) and the fellow appreciators of Papa Benedict at the RatzingerForum).

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