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Arriving Pope calls WYD a sign of church vitality


CLICK HERELanding in Cologne for the World Youth Day celebrations, a smiling Pope Benedict XVI said the massive gathering is a sign of the church's vitality in a country "indelibly" marked by Christian traditions.

Catholic News Service reports that the Holy Father looked "energised and happy" on the first stop of his first papal trip yesterday as he was welcomed by a crowd of government dignitaries, church leaders and young people at Cologne's airport.

When he stepped off his chartered plane, the wind sent his white zucchetto flying, and the crowd let out a whoop. The pope came down the stairs and walked briskly along a red carpet, shaking the hands of his hosts.

From the far end of the tarmac, he was cheered by more than 100 young people who waved flags and scarves. They were chosen to represent an estimated 500,000 youth day participants from more than 190 countries.

"That so many young people have come to meet the successor of Peter is a sign of the church's vitality," the 78-year-old pontiff said in his welcoming speech.

"I am happy to be with them, to confirm their faith and to enliven their hope. At the same time, I am sure that I will also receive something from them, especially from their enthusiasm, their sensitivity and their readiness to face the challenges of the future," he said.

The pope made two main points in his first talk. First, he said the World Youth Day theme, "We Have Come to Worship Him," underlined the need to understand "life as a pilgrimage, guided by a 'star,' in search of the Lord."

Like the Wise Men, whose relics are revered in the Cologne cathedral, he said, "all believers -- and young people in particular -- have been called to set out on the journey of life in search of truth, justice and love."

"The ultimate goal of the journey can only be found through an encounter with Christ, an encounter which cannot take place without faith," he said.

The pope's arrival ceremony was quieter and more low-key than those of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Unlike the late pope, Pope Benedict did not kiss the ground when he landed, and he rode into the city from the airport in a covered car.

President Horst Koehler welcomed the pope as a native son, saying that even as a Protestant he was moved that "a German, one of us, has become pope."

In downtown Cologne, where giant portraits of Popes Benedict and John Paul decorated several buildings, many World Youth Day participants followed the arrival ceremony on giant TV screens.

Later in the day, the pope was to address youths at a welcoming ceremony on the banks of the Rhine River in the Cologne city centre and pay a visit to the city cathedral. He plans to lunch with a youth delegation today, preside over a prayer vigil tomorrow and celebrate the World Youth Day closing Mass on Sunday.

The pope is also scheduled to meet with government and political leaders, seminarians, ecumenical representatives and Muslim leaders, and visit the Cologne synagogue at the invitation of the Jewish community.

In his airport speech, the pope described the interreligious and ecumenical encounters as "important steps along the journey of dialogue and cooperation" among believers.

Pope Benedict inherited the World Youth Day trip, and he has called it providential that his first foreign visit would involve such a high-profile international event in his native land.

Before he left Rome, he said he hoped to communicate to young people the joy of being a Christian and let them know that the faith is more than a set of rules. He said a new wave of belief among young people would be a good antidote to the "fatigue" and loss of faith across Europe in recent years.

SOURCE
Pope lands in Germany, calls World Youth Day sign of church vitality (Catholic News Service 18/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day - Australia
World Youth Day - International
World Youth Day - Vatican

ARCHIVE
PM's message advances WYD Australia rumours (CathNews 18/8/05)
Cardinal hails WYD opening (CathNews 17/8/05)
WYD pilgrims arriving in Cologne (CathNews 16/8/05)
Pope seeking 'new wave of faith' (CathNews 15/8/05)
Benedict set to embark on first international mission (CathNews 12/8/05)
German youths upset after Filipinos denied visas for WYD (CathNews 11/8/05)
Outspoken rock band scratched from WYD (CathNews 10/8/05)
Visa denials disappoint WYD would-be pilgrims (CathNews 9/8/05)
Pope says worship is ultimate in human fulfillment (CathNews 8/8/05)
No-fly zone to aid WYD papal mass security (CathNews 5/8/05)
Youth make biggest ever pilgrimage to leave Australia (CathNews 4/8/05)
400 Melbourne youth head to Cologne to meet new Pope (CathNews 3/8/05)
Sydney WYD champagne corks await word from Pope (CathNews 2/8/05)
Vatican journo claims 2008 WYD 'winner is Sydney' (CathNews 1/8/05)
Terror threat changes WYD plans for Sydney pilgrims (CathNews 28/7/05)
WYD preparations enter home stretch (CathNews 20/7/05)
World Youth Day cross begins final push for Cologne (CathNews 7/7/05)
Pell leads bid for Sydney World Youth Day (CathNews 5/7/05)
Pope's trip to World Youth Day officially announced (CathNews 22/6/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 3/3/05)
German organizers further plans for World Youth Day (CathNews 7/1/05)

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Latest News From Cologne (Vatican Radio English Features 18/8/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Pope Benedict: the story so far (The Guardian Newsblog 18/8/05)
Catholics celebrate World Youth Day (Irish Times 18/8/05)
Pope greeted by world youth in Germany (Irish Times 18/8/05)
Pope Benedict XVI sets sail on Rhine (Irish Times 18/8/05)
Galway youth accompany Benedict on boat to Cologne (catholicireland.net 18/8/05)
Teen mag gives away Pope posters (BBC 17/8/05)
Rapturous German welcome for Pope (BBC 18/8/05)
Rapturous German welcome for Pope (BBC 18/8/05)
Pope gets big welcome in Germany (BBC Newsround 18/8/05)
Pope visits 'beloved homeland' (Financial Times 18/8/05)
Papal visit accompanied by tight security (Monsters & Critics/United Press International 18/8/05)
Pope to Sound Theme of Non-Christian Ties at Festival (Pew Forum/New York Times 18/8/05)
Pope expresses joy at return to Germany (Reuters 18/8/05)
Nun prays in protest at "Da Vinci Code" film (Reuters 18/8/05)
Pakistani Catholic youth do not get visas for WYD (AsiaNews.it 18/8/05)
Georgian youth at WYD but back home, their situation is deteriorating (AsiaNews.it 18/8/05)
Two young Uzbeks also attend World Youth Day (AsiaNews.it 18/8/05)
Benedict XVI: WYD, where cultures and traditions meet, a blessing for Germany and the world (AsiaNews.it 18/8/05)
Pope: Take up John Paul's legacy and commit yourselves to serve Christ (AsiaNews.it 18/8/05)
Young Catholics share their faith at global gathering (Boston Globe 18/8/05)
In catechesis session, Cardinal George urges youths to stay faithful (Catholic News Service 17/8/05)
Pope Benedict's first speech to youth " Let yourselves be surprised by Christ!" (Catholic News Agency 18/8/05)
Pope Benedict arrives for WYD 2005 (Catholic News Agency 18/8/05)
WYD pilgrims eager to see, and hear Pope (Catholic News Agency 18/8/05)
Bishop Aquila: 'We are at WYD because of our deep love of Christ and of the Eucharist' (Catholic News Agency 18/8/05)
Young Indians In Cologne: "We Are Here To Show The Vibrancy Of Our Faith" (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 18/8/05)
Sandro Magister: From Cologne to the Conquest of Europe: How the Muslim Brotherhood is Challenging the Pope (L'Espresso 18/8/05)
Thousands of Young Catholics Gather to Share Faith at World Youth Day (Christian Today 18/8/05)
Background: the state of Catholicism in Germany (Catholic World News 17/8/05)
Pope Benedict arrives in native Germany (Catholic World News 18/8/05)
Australian PM confirms: Sydney to host next WYD (Catholic World News 18/8/05)
Pope's schedule for first day of German visit (Catholic World News 18/8/05)
Find Christ in the Eucharist, Pope tells youth in Cologne (Catholic World News 18/8/05)
Church Critics Ready to Rumble (Deutsche Welle 17/8/05)
Pope Benedict pays first visit to his homeland in Germany (Ecumenical News International 18/8/05)
Pope Visits Germany for World Youth Day (The Guardian/Associated Press 18/8/05)
Pope Talks to Pilgrims at World Youth Day (The Guardian/Associated Press 18/8/05)
A sign of hope World Youth Day 2005 (Kairos Catholic Journal 21/8/05)
Catholic youth form biggest pilgrimage ever to leave Australia (Kairos Catholic Journal 21/8/05)
Getting into the Cologne Zone (Kairos Catholic Journal 21/8/05)
World Youth Day Virtual Pilgrimage Chapter 2 (LifeSiteNews.com 17/8/05)
Festival Atmosphere at WYD - 9800 Priests, 750 Bishops at Event (LifeSiteNews.com 17/8/05)
Cologne, World Youth Day: President Ciampi to Pope, "youths a hope for future" (Missionary Service News Agency 18/8/05)
Cologne, World Youth Day: Pope, "confront journey of life in search of love" (Missionary Service News Agency 18/8/05)
Pope to Sound Theme of Non-Christian Ties at Festival (New York Times 18/8/05)
German press welcome pope home (Agence France-Presse/Radio Veritas Asia 18/8/05)
Benedict's back: Pope arrives in Germany (Reuters/Sydney Morning Herald 18/8/05)
Poster Pope on mission to win over the young (London Telegraph 18/8/05)
Pope faces condom protest on visit to Germany (London Times 18/8/05)
Cologne Welcomes The Pope (Vatican Radio English Features 18/8/05, audio - requires Real Player)
World's youth eager for Benedict's visit (Washington Times 18/8/05)
Benedict XVI Asks for Prayers for Trip (Zenit 17/8/05)
Cardinal Meisner's Catechesis to Young People (Zenit 17/8/05)
7,000 Journalists Covering Youth Day (Zenit 17/8/05)

MORE POPE STORIES
Publisher, papal friend says Pope's new book focuses on beauty, personal relationship with Christ (Catholic News Agency 18/8/05)
Vatican Radio preparing bio series on Benedict XVI (Catholic World News 18/8/05)
Pope Mourns Murder of Taizé's Brother Roger (Zenit 17/8/05)
Suffering Can Be Fruitful, Says Benedict XVI (Zenit 17/8/05)
Papal Grief for Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan (Zenit 17/8/05)
Commentary on Psalm 125(126) (Zenit 17/8/05)
Pope's Remembrance of Brother Roger (Zenit 17/8/05)

19 Aug 2005