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Pope urges faith in Church at Berlin mass

The Local · 23 Sep 2011, 07:05

Published: 23 Sep 2011 07:05 GMT+02:00

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“The Church contains both good and bad fish, wheat and weeds,” he said, apparently referring to the widespread child abuse at Catholic institutions in Germany uncovered last year. “And if only these negative aspects are taken into account, then the great and deep mystery of the Church is no longer seen.”

The pope’s homily came on a wet and drizzly evening as 70,000 people packed into the stadium that was originally used for the Olympics in 1936.

But the wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of believers, who had gathered after a day of protests and controversy in German capital, during which the pope met with national leaders. Despite a widely praised speech before the Bundestag, some German politicians continued to insist that because of the scandals and the pontiff’s conservative stance on issues such as homosexuality, he should never have been invited to speak before parliament.

Nevertheless, he received a warm welcome at the stadium. Thousands of attendees loudly cheered as he drove around the grounds in his "Popemobile," stopping to wave to the surging crowd and kiss a few babies. He was given a model of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate by Berlin city officials just before he began to lead the mass. At one point, government leaders struggled to slip on ponchos as the rain begin the fall.

The pope’s main message seemed to be that Germany should reclaim its belief in God – the pontiff has recently been complaining that the country has become increasingly secular and has abandoned its Christian roots.

“In Christ, we belong together,” he preached. “Within this communion, he supports us and, at the same time, all the members support one another. They stand firm together against the storm and they offer one another protection.”

But the pope also indirectly touched on the Church’s continuing reform efforts, which some have charged don’t go far enough. He emphasized, however, that believers must have a realistic view of the Church as a flawed and human structure, while taking comfort in their belief in Christ.

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“Dissatisfaction and discontent begin to spread when people’s superficial and mistaken notions of the Church, their ‘dream Church,’ fail to materialize,” he said.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:35 September 23, 2011 by Jimberlin
Hahaha.. "Popemobile".. Wish it looked more like Batmobile then atleast he would get some attention


Of course he would say to "Have faith". Church revenues and profits are going down.. He has to answer his boad of members :P
11:31 September 23, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
"The pope¦#39;s main message seemed to be that Germany should reclaim its belief in God ­ the pontiff has recently been complaining that the country has become increasingly secular and has abandoned its Christian roots. "

He can preach that all he wants, it seems he has never heard of such a thing as freedom of religion. This freedom of religion is worthless if it doesn't also include the possibility of freedom FROM religion, i.e. the individual's right to refuse to subscribe to any religion and be agnostic or atheistic, and not suffer any negative consequences for it. I, for one, do not see a lack of religious faith as a particular problem. A person, as well as society itself, can be good without any manifest belief in a supernatural being.

The pope is also mistaken about the meaning of the word "secular". Secular means that there is a separation between church and state, and not that the people aren't free to practice their religion. This is an ideal, a form of state and government which past generations fought long and hard for. Because church rule and democracy don't mix very well, as centuries of German history in particular have shown before democracy was established. And lest we forget, the strangle hold that the Church had on the people and their rulers in Europe was one major factor that brought about the cherished First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

And finally, if we really look at religious (or church-run) institutions in Germany and their ties to the government, it seems that there is de facto no separation of church and state to speak of. Quite a few hospitals and other therapeutic institutions, retirement homes, kindergartens, even some schools are run by one of the two major churches. Their employees and dignitaries get hundreds of millions of euros every year straight from the taxpayer, and church officials serve on government advisory boards, ensuring the Church's influence on politics. It seems that we need in fact a great deal more secularism in this country.

But how to explain all that to a senile old man like Ratzinger...
12:31 September 23, 2011 by johnny108
Nothing says "faith" like a vehicle equipped with armored glass.
15:11 September 23, 2011 by jbaker
Remember to bring your wallet - It's always a day of obligation and giving money to the richest entity on Earth. I don't know about Germany, but in the USA the priest's live in oversized houses and living quarters. They certainly do not look malnurished.

The Roman Catholic church needs to buy 1 million acres+ of land in the USA(You would be shocked at the amount of acreage that sits empty because the US Government pays the farmers-mostly corporate owned- not to plant)to grow good-sustaining food and bring to the starving of the world.

Like any large corporation, they tell you want you want to hear and do what they intend to do - which is usually opposite of what you want.

Almost all the land in the super fertile midwest is growing Genetically Modified corn and soybeans - this is not edible- most people eat this junk in most packaged food and fast food restaurants.

Yes, I am getting off the Pope topic, but connect the dots and you always end up in the same place.
15:13 September 23, 2011 by delvek
Awesome mass! Great to hear the Pope talk about the importance of being able to seperate God from the church and its flawed human structure.

Very exciting! Its incredible, through all the centuries and the Pope still commands more audience and welcome then anything contemporary.
21:31 September 23, 2011 by farmy

I couldn't say it any better.
11:16 September 26, 2011 by oftesheimkerl
They may complain and criticize the RCC all they want but irreligion is not the answer. Nothing in life is perfect, and that includes the RCC. The RCC does offer me redemption and that's something that the atheists and agnostics are without, that's why they're so hostile and bitter. As a major religion, the RCC is an important bulwark for central and southern Europe considering what keeps spreading westward and metastasizing in northern Europe, especially where irreligion is most prevalent: the Scandinavian nation states, the last nations of Europe to Christianize, and the first to renounce Christianity and choose to follow the dark path of irreligion and paganism. These are the nations of Europe most vulnerable now. I will pray for those who have no faith.
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