Benedict XVI Saw "Young" Church in Germany
Bids Farewell at End of 1st Apostolic Trip
COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 21, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict
XVI assured the participants at World Youth Day that
they have reflected a "young" Church with "imagination
The Pope bid farewell to his native land in the
Cologne-Bonn airport. He delivered the last address of
his first international apostolic trip as Bishop of
Rome, after receiving the affectionate greeting of
German President Horst Köhler.
"Indeed one can say that during these days Germany has
been the center of the Catholic world," said the Holy
Father. "Young people from every continent and culture,
gathered in faith around their pastors and the Successor
of Peter, have shown us a young Church, one that seeks
with imagination and courage to shape the face of a more
just and generous humanity.
"Now they are returning to their own regions and cities
to testify to the light, the beauty and the power of the
Gospel which they have experienced anew."
Benedict XVI thanked all those who made the past days
possible, and hoped "that this event will remain
impressed on the life of Germany's Catholics, and will
be an incentive for a renewed spiritual and apostolic
The Pope's address struck a somber note. "We are all
well aware of the evil that emerged from our homeland
during the 20th century, and we acknowledge it with
shame and suffering."
owever, "during these days, thanks be to God, it has
become quite evident that there was and is another
Germany, a land of singular human, cultural and
spiritual resources," he said.
The Holy Father left for Rome on flight A321 of
Lufthansa Airlines and was due back in Rome around 9:15
p.m., from where he would go directly to Castel Gandolfo,
where he will spend the rest of the summer.