Dialogika

Pope Benedict XVI

General Audience: Recollections of the Pastoral Visit to Germany


Vatican City

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today I wish to share some recollections of my pastoral visit to Bavaria. More than a journey to my roots, it was an opportunity to look forward with hope. Under the motto "those who believe are never alone" I invited all to reflect on the baptized person's membership in the Church where, never alone, one is in constant communion with God and others.

In Munich's central square, I implored the Virgin's blessing upon the whole world. The following day I spoke of a certain difficulty in hearing God in a secular world which needs so much the Gospel's message of hope. At Altötting we reflected on Mary's generosity in accepting God's will, recalling how she guides us towards Jesus. Returning to the theme of the visit, I noted in Regensburg that the Father wishes to gather all humanity into one family, the Church. Here, at the University where for many years I had taught, I spoke on the relationship between faith and reason. I included a quotation on the relationship between religion and violence. This quotation, unfortunately, lent itself to possible misunderstanding. In no way did I wish to make my own the words of the medieval emperor. I wished to explain that not religion and violence, but religion and reason, go together. I hope that my profound respect for world religions and for Muslims, who "worship the one God" and with whom we "promote peace, liberty, social justice and moral values for the benefit of all humanity" (Nostra Aetate, 3), is clear. Let us continue the dialogue both between religions and between modern reason and the Christian faith!