|Cologne, Germany, 18-21 August
at the International Airport of Cologne/Bonn
On his arrival at the Cologne/Bonn Airport (18 August), Pope
Benedict XVI addressed the President and civil authorities, the Bishops
and citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany, and all young people
gathering in Cologne. Quoting the words of the Magi, "We have come to
worship him," the Pope gave, as the goal of this journey, "an encounter
with Christ, an encounter which cannot take place without faith."
to Young People on the Banks of the Rhine
From a boat on the Rhine River in Germany, the Holy Father
addressed the young people lining its banks. He paid tribute to his
predecessor, John Paul II, who "inspired the idea of calling young
people from all over the world to join in celebrating Christ," and
recalled that Christ, whom they, like the Magi, had come to seek, was
the answer to the world's problems.
Address at the Cologne Cathedral
Speaking from the pavement outside Cologne Cathedral, the Holy Father
reminded young people of the Christian roots of Cologne. The relics of
the Magi were brought to Cologne in 1164, and it was to house them that
the magnificent cathedral was built. We must be worthy of the legacy of
values left by the generations of Christians who have preceded us.
to the Synagogue of Cologne
On 19 August, the Holy Father visited a Cologne synagogue and assured
the Jewish community of his intent to follow the path of John Paul II
toward "improved relations and friendship with the Jewish People."
Address to Seminarians at the Church of St. Pantaleon
The Holy Father made it a point to meet with seminarians, "so
that the vocational dimension which is always a part of World Youth Day
would be even more clearly and strongly evident." The Pope compared the
mystery of God's call to the Magi, whose deep desire to find the King of
the Jews prompted them to leave everything and begin their journey.
Seminary formation is likewise a journey, leading to an encounter with
Christ, which becomes adoration.
Ecumenical Address in Cologne
At his meeting with leaders of other Churches and ecclesial Communities,
the Holy Father emphasized Christian fraternity, based on our one
Baptism, making us members of His one Body. He encouraged ecumenical
dialogue, consistent with the truth, and a common response to "the great
ethical questions of our time." The Pope also commended "prayer,
conversion and the sanctification of life," as the heart of the
Representatives of Muslim Communities of Cologne
On 20 August, the Holy Father addressed ten of Germany's Muslim
community leaders, reaffirming his commitment to improve relations
between Christians and Muslims. He spoke of terrorism as "a perverse and
cruel decision, which shows contempt for the sacred right to life and
undermines the very foundations of all civil society.” Believers must
work together to oppose "every manifestation of violence."
Address at World Youth Day Vigil
At the Marienfeld esplanade, 27 kilometers (17 miles) from Cologne, the
Holy Father addressed some 800,000 youths at the World Youth Day vigil.
The Pope highlighted the "true revolution" which comes from God and is
able to transform the world. "Only from the saints, only from God does
true revolution come, the definitive way to change the world..."
Homily, Closing Mass for 20th World Youth Day
At the Mass closing World Youth Day (21 August), in the Marienfeld
esplanade, the Holy Father appealed to more than 1 million young people
to become new missionaries in a world that is forgetting God. "Anyone
who has discovered Christ must lead others to him. A great joy cannot be
kept to oneself. It has to be passed on."
Address to German Bishops at Cologne
The Holy Father expressed the hope that Germany's bishops will continue
to foster the spirit of World Youth Day. In a meeting with the prelates
in Cologne's seminary, the Pope urged them to find "new ways of reaching
out to young people in order to proclaim Christ to them," and to
"promote the pastoral care of vocations with renewed vigor."
Angelus, World Youth Day, Cologne
At the end of the closing Mass of the 20th World Youth Day, before
praying the Angelus, the Holy Father thanked all who were involved in
its preparation and organization. He announced the next World Youth Day
in Sydney, Australia, 2008.
Farewell Address at Cologne/Bonn International Airport
At the end of the 20th World Youth Day, the Holy Father bid farewell to
his native land in the Cologne-Bonn airport, delivering the last address
of his first international apostolic trip as Bishop of Rome.