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Pope's final message - go back to basics

The Local · 25 Sep 2011, 19:39

Published: 25 Sep 2011 19:39 GMT+02:00

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Speaking at the Lahr airport in Baden-Württemberg before departing for Rome, the pope said, “I want to encourage the Church in Germany to continue to - with strength and confidence - take the path of faith which leads people to return to the roots, to the fundamental message of Christ.”

He said the future belonged to a Church which was convincing and infectious. “There will be small communities of believers – and there are some already – who shine out with their enthusiasm into the pluralist society and make others curious enough to seek out this light which gives life in abundance.”

Earlier on Sunday he had celebrated mass before around 100,000 of the faithful in Germany's Catholic heartland at the end of a visit that has disappointed many inside and outside the Church.

Mothers held up babies and toddlers for the pontiff to bless and kiss as he arrived in brilliant sunshine at an airfield in Freiburg in the specially-built "popemobile".

The 84-year-old pontiff said it was "moving" for him to celebrate the mass with so many.

He urged German Catholics to overcome their internal differences and remain faithful and obedient to Rome in "this time of danger and radical change" and a "crisis of faith".

"The Church in Germany will overcome the great challenges of the present and future, and it will remain a leaven in society, if the priests, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful... work together in unity," he said.

And in remarks seemingly aimed at German Catholic groups clamouring for change such as Wir sind Kirche - We are Church - or Die Kirche von unten - The Church from below -, he said: "The Church in Germany will continue to be a blessing for the entire Catholic world: if she remains faithfully united with the successors of Saint Peter and the apostles."

During his stay, Benedict also met President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel and gave his first speech to a parliament, the German lower house or Bundestag.

The pope has used his trip to call German Catholics to order and hammer home his ultra-conservative credo on a range of issues such as artificial contraception, abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage.

Story continues below…

He has warned against "lukewarm" Christians who he said were damaging the Church.

AFP/DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

03:03 September 26, 2011 by jbaker
Remember that there is to be No Change and be Obedient to Rome and all will be well - If you like to be a Slave. If you open your mind, there will be consequences. It is YOUR CHOICE!

Freedom - or - Slavery?
04:28 September 26, 2011 by wood artist
Exactly how far back are these "basics?" Is he talking the 1500's and the counter reformation, or the 1600's and the 30 Years War...or maybe the 1930's when the Pope bowed down with Hitler. Maybe more recent basics when priests did what they wanted with young people and the church swept it under the rug.

I'm not Catholic, nor was I raised in the Catholic church, but it seems like maybe the problem has been that society moved on and the church didn't. "The Basics" are going to be a hard sell these days.

07:27 September 26, 2011 by ChrisRea
All statistics I found show that the percentage of Catholics is decreasing. So when the pope says that "the future belonged to a Church which was convincing and infectious ", he is not referring to the Catholic Church, is he?
09:25 September 26, 2011 by freechoice
that is why the world is in such a decay.
11:19 September 26, 2011 by ECSNatale
If by the basics you mean continue to ignore the crumbling church structure and keeping the central rule in Rome, ignoring the sex scandals, not allowing women in the clergy, insisting that priests remain celibate, decrying birth control as a sin, standing in opposition to accepted science when it come to STDs and AIDS, and other church basics... yeah, keep up with that and see how it works for you.

Catholicism in Europe will be nothing more than a cult within 3 more generations.
16:50 September 27, 2011 by Sastry.M

.Kindly refer to the above net and download the file.Read with an unbiased mind, omit what is not appealing but retain what is sought after in all religions.
18:19 September 28, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Wood Artist - this Pope business seems personal to you, and I just don't understand all of your biased rhetoric. "The Pope bowed down with Hitler" does not show any understanding or accuracy. Every German was in the HJ because it was mandatory. I think it's funny how some people have this notion that they could've just said "no" back then. So easy to judge, isn't it? Obviously this Pope has shown himself worthy for the College of Cardinals - his peers - to elect him. You know, I've heard you defend Islam in the past from people who attack it with biased stereotypes - so why aren't you "practicing what you preach" in fairness now when it comes to Catholics? Or do you just defend foreigners, and not a European-based religion?
17:45 September 29, 2011 by Robert.P
I found this article very bias. There is clearly an agenda being driven. Poor journalism indeed.
11:19 October 2, 2011 by Shirazz
Back to Basics....why not back to Paganism?
11:36 October 2, 2011 by Stephanie73
Germany had brave and noble gods of it's own until the example of the slavish and effeminate middle eastern guy in sandals came along.
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