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RU 34/2006 - VATICAN

- VATICAN: It's only now - because of the summer pause of the Vatican press - that a long papal interview has been published, which Benedict XVI gave on August 5th at his summer residence Castelgandolfo, on the mounts of the centre of Italy, in German language. It was practically a world first, as four mass media - BAYRISCHER RUNDFUNK (ARD), ZDF, DEUTSCHE WELLE and RADIO VATICAN - could interview simultaneously the Holy Father (the other international media had apparently no correspondants on place who could speak German). Please find hereafter our attempt to give an abstract of this event, during which Benedict XVI expressed himself freely like in family, i.e; without protocol nor written text, maybe even in a manner which is a bit inconsiderate, as you will understand.

Naturally the pope was questioned (by RADIO VATICAN) on behalf of his imminent visit to Germany, i.e. to his home country Bavaria (NB: visit to the Bavarian capital Munich on Sept. 9 and 10, pilgrimage to the marial sanctuary Alötting on Sept. 11, visit to his birth place Marktl on Sept. 11, to Regensburg on Sept. 12 and 13, and to Freising near Munich on Sept. 14). Our Holy Father answered: "I am ashamed when I think of all what they do for preparing my visit, of all what the people are undertaking. My house has been repainted, a professional school repared the fence. The professor for protestant religion collaborated in the fence reparing. Of course, these are only little details, but they say a lot of the amount of what is being done." Concerning other papal trips he explained: "... From the time of John XXIII onward, the pendulum began to swing in the other direction too: the Popes started going out to visit others. I have to say that I don't feel strong enough to plan many long trips. But where such a trip allows me to communicate a message or where, shall I say, it's in response to a sincere request, I'd like to go - in the 'measure' that's possible for me." Thus he mentioned Brazil for the year 2007, his desire to pilgrim to the Holy Land, and also to Mariazell in Austria: "Quite simply I promised it to them, a little imprudently. I really liked that place and I said: Yes, I'll come back to the Magna Mater Austriae." Nobody mentioned the trip to Turquey programmed for November 2006, which does not mean that Benedict XVI will not undertake that dangerous visit. - In this interview, profound questions have also been asked for, for instance this one (from ARD): "Which are the themes which you would like to treat above all?" Benedict XVI: "... The basic theme is that we have to rediscover God, not just any God, but the God that has a human face, because when we see Jesus Christ we see God... We won't find the ways leading ahead, if we don't receive light from above." - Then there was a delicate question from ZDF: "Fewer churchgoers, fewer baptisms, and especially less Church influence on the life of society. How do you see the present situation of the Catholi Church in Germany?" Here are some extracts from the long answer of the pope: "It's become more difficult to believe, because the world in which we find ourselves, is completely made up of ourselves, and God, so to speak, doesn't ppear directly anomore." And then, as if he addressed himself directly to the souls of the journalists who were sitting in front of him: "You don't drink directly from the source anymore, but from the vessel which is offered to us already full. Humanity has rebuilt the world by itself, and finding God inside this world has become more difficult", sighed the pope. - To a question concerning the youths, the pope answered: "Young people are very generous, but when they face the risk of a lifelong ommitment, be it marriage or a priestly vocation, they are afraid... (I want to) rewaken the courage to make definite decisions: they are really the only ones that allow us to grow, to move ahead and to reach something great in life. They are the only decisions that do not destroy our freedom, but offer to point us in the right direction. Risk making this leap, so to speak, toward the definitive and so embrace life fully: this is something I'd be happy to communicate to them." - The DEUTSCHE WELLE asked the Holy Father what he thinks about the war in the Near East? "War ist the worst solution for all sides. It brings no good to anyone, not even to the apparent victors. We understand this very well in Europe, after the two World Wards. Everyone needs peace... There are moral forces at work that are ready to help people understand how the only solution is for all of us: to live peacefully together. These are the forces we want to mobilize." - Then came a question from the ZDF which permitted to come to an essential issue: what should be done in the Ecumene ? The Holy Father: "The Evangelical church is of a remarkable variety... (NB: 1500 sects all over the world!). So it's a collection of many voices, with which we have to enter in dialogue searching for unity, while respecting the multiplicity of the voices with which we want to collaborate. I believe that the first thing we need to do is... to guarantee all together a social ethical consistency whichout which society cannot fulfill is political ends, namely, justice for all, living together in a positive way, and peace.. Of course, then (?) we have to be witnesses for God in a world that has problems finding Him, as we said, and to make God visible in the human Face of Jesus Christ, to offer people access to the source without which our morale becomes sterile and loses its point of reference... Only in this way joy is born before the greatness of humanity: Humanity is not an evolutionary product that turned out badly. We are the image of God. If we do this... , we will mature toward an interior unity that, God willing, one day will bring with it an exterior form of unity too." - If one is aware of the fact that the sect New Age wants to shift off the Christians to a mere role of moral officials, in order to serve as an ethical fig leaf for today's world which adores the new veals money, domination and lust, the little word "then" (marked by us by a "?") may surprise. It is catholic to put God at the first place, to be first of all his witnesses, even his beloved children in this world. God does not come thereafter ("then"). Many other important themes, like AIDS, abortion, mariage between homosexuals, overpopulation, role of women in the Church, but also the role of humor, have been treated in this very gaudy interview. One can read the full text on the Vatican website, under the 'Archive' of Aug. 17th. - (ru)

Everyone knows sufficiently the logic which is practiced today: all which figures as second point, is negociable and apt for compromise. Therefore, let's say it clearly: without God there will never be peace, this would be a purely human utopia, and even a diabolic hallucination, we would be again the constructors of the tower of Babylon due to collapse. This is surely also the conviction of the Holy Father, as one can understand from the rest of this same interview; therefore, how could he let through this lapse? The formulation, as it appears in the interview, may lead to error, especially if one considers what the world - and 'oecumnism' - needs today mostly: who, even between the Christians, thinks yet really of GOD? And not merely about himself? Who is interested by Him? - In all domains, even in the religious domain, everything is yet to be done.


- - O.A.M.D.G. - -

Omnia ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam - Everything to the Major Glory of God (St Ignatius S.J.)

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