Address by the Archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Cardinal Meisner,
Welcoming the Holy Father to Cologne at Roncalliplatz

August, 18th 2005, Roncalli place

Dear, honored Holy Father!

You have come to Cologne to meet the youth of the world. This is something for which we have worked long and very diligently to prepare. But the citizens of Cologne are here, too. And for this reason, the Archbishop of Cologne would like to extend a very warm welcome to our city, a city proud to have been granted the opportunity to serve as host for the XX World Youth Day. And because a love shared is a love increased twofold, we in Cologne do not feel overlooked that you are now devoting all of your time and all of your attention to the youth of the world.

You have come to Cologne for the first time in your capacity as Pope, but you have al-ready known our city and our archdiocese for decades: as a professor in Bonn and as an advisor to Cardinal Frings at the II Vatican Council, and then later as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Of course we here in Cologne know you, too, and we are exuberant that you have now come to Germany and to Cologne for the 1st time as our Holy Father.

Cologne is widely considered the Rome of the North. Holy Father, for this reason, please make yourself at home here with us. Welcome to Cologne!