Perhaps RomanCatholicBlog or some other Catholic blog will collect the various reviews of Benedict's first foreign trip.
has boldly suggested that Pope Benedict's visit to Cologne for World Youth Day this week will mark a turning point of the history of Germany in particular and Europe in general.
by Kishore Jayabalan, Director of Istituto Acton
Pope Benedict XVI is back in the international media spotlight this week, gracing the covers of Time and Newsweek, as he makes his first trip outside of Italy, to Cologne, Germany for the 20th World Youth Day. That a Catholic youth gathering is now a
global event worthy of such attention is a testament to Pope John Paul II; now the trip is presented as a sort of “test” for Benedict.
When the new pope was announced, Catholic Answers staffers were crammed into the office's conference room eagerly watching the television reports of the event (and nearly blew the roof off with cheers when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was announced as Pope). In the hubbub that followed, I exclaimed that the upcoming World Youth Day was being held in Cologne, Germany, and a coworker commented that perhaps a positive spirituality is developing around World Youth Day.
Well, Pope Benedict XVI is now in Cologne, Germany ....
To amuse myself, I went to Google News....
Searches resulted in:
+"world youth day" +gay 180 stories
+"world youth day" +abortion 176 stories
+"world youth day" +condoms 139 stories
+"world youth day" +eucharist 42 stories [which a couple days later was overtaken by beer which rocketed to 56 while the Eucharist was at 51]
+"world youth day" +beer 5 stories
+"world youth day" +ferret 1 story
In his homily at the Mass concluding World Youth Day, Benedict challenged the crowd of one million gathered on the Marienfeld plain outside Cologne to submit to God, not as a denial of their freedom, but as an embrace of a truth that saves.
"Freedom is not simply about enjoying life in total autonomy, but rather about living by the measure of truth and goodness, so that we ourselves can become true and good," he said.
He took square aim at what is sometimes called "cafeteria Catholicism" -- the tendency of believers to pick and choose among church teachings, constructing their own system.
Since LifeSiteNews.com broke the story of the pro-abortion United Nations representative Eveline Herfkens who was to speak at World Youth Day, there has been a flurry activity to protest the move. Numerous LifeSiteNews.com readers, Human Life International, and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute lobbied Cardinals and World Youth Day organizers in Germany to put a stop to the scandal. (See the original LifeSiteNews.com story here: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/aug/05080908.html )
More than 1,000 Roman Catholic youths gathered in Baghdad to celebrate World Youth Day and ask for the pontiff's blessing "at this most difficult time for our country," the Vatican said Saturday.
Pope Benedict XVI, who is in Germany for the Catholic youth festival, received the Iraqi youths' message "with joy and commotion," the Vatican said.
Although the Pope's speech was delivered to Muslims, his real audience is inevitably going to be the West in general and Christians in particular. Realistically, Benedict's message will reach ordinary Muslims only at third hand in a heavily distorted way; it can hardly be expected to sway them. But the signal it sends to the West, at least to those who look up to him as a moral and religious leader, is that here is something we cannot look away from. Ambiguous though it may be, his message has run the PC blockade.
Therefore, the Pope seems to say to the Muslims in the room, survival is in our hands and that means yours too.
"You guide Muslim believers and train them in the Islamic faith. Teaching is the vehicle through which ideas and convictions are transmitted. Words are highly influential in the education of the mind. You, therefore, have a great responsibility for the formation of the younger generation."