“We are pope again!”

Pope Benedict XVI. warned the young people against faith in technology and false ideologies. The world will not get better in the end, despite technical progress, the Pope warned on Saturday at an evening prayer with young people in Freiburg.

There is still "war and terror, hunger and disease, abject poverty and merciless oppression," the head of the church told an audience of about 30 people.000 people at the Freiburg fairgrounds.

Cheers erupt, flags are waved, when Pope Benedict XVI is announced. enters the large altar at the Freiburg fairgrounds on Saturday evening at sunset. Around 30.000 young people waited there for hours, completing a warm-up program with supporting bands, in order to celebrate a youth vigil with "their" pope – the main act, so to speak. Immediately the shouts of "Benedetto" resound again: prelude to an atmospheric night prayer.

Benedict XVI called on his audience. to fight against evil and not to despair of their own weakness. Jesus Christ does not demand splendor, "but wants His light to shine in you". He went on to call for optimism: "Christ does not pay so much attention to how often we stumble in life, but how often we get up again." Even those in history who saw themselves as "bringers of light," "but without being ignited by Christ, the only true light," did not create a paradise, the pope continued. Instead, the self-proclaimed bringers of salvation had been responsible for dictatorships "in which even the smallest spark of true humanity was stifled.".

The pope emphatically reminded the young people of the existence of evil. "In our own heart there is the inclination to evil, selfishness, envy, aggression."Like a "dull fog" the "sluggishness to want and to do the good" also lies on the church. The damage to the church comes "not from its opponents, but from lukewarm Christians".

"Allow Christ to burn in you, even if that sometimes means sacrifice and renunciation," the pope called to the young people. He trusts that they and many other young people in Germany will become beacons of hope.

Thousands of candles in the dark
Young people from church associations had previously reported at the vigil about the Christian conviction with which they were engaged. In doing so, they named saints as role models. They carried bowls to the Pope, who lit a fire in them – in memory of the biblical word of Jesus Christ "You are the light of the world". At the end, young people waved thousands of candles in the darkness.

"It's all totally exciting," says 20-year-old Carina from Munster, who traveled with a group of altar servers to Freiburg – the third stop on the Pope's four-day visit to Germany. They don't expect too much from the pope and what he has to say. "I am here because of the atmosphere. The pope is just something different," she admits openly.

Many other young people see it in a similar way to Carina. Benedict is more of a pop star to them, less of a moral authority by whose dictates they must live. Nevertheless, the majority of them feel that the pastoral work of the church is a support.

Survey among young people
This also comes to light in a survey that takes place shortly before night prayer. The young people have to answer questions, which are asked from the stage by loudspeaker, by holding up red or green air sticks: red means no, green yes.

The result is not much that is new: the exclusion of divorced and remarried people from communion, the outlawing of homosexuals, and the ban on women becoming priests – the young people are unanimous in seeing red. Just as with the question of whether they orient themselves with their lifestyle on the pope – the result is a clear no. Even the difference between Catholic and Protestant does not matter to the majority of young people. For this, prayer is important for them, they see themselves connected to God in it.

"We are Pope again!"
"The Pope belongs to the Church. He is the most important institution that you can't get to otherwise," says Tamara from Frankfurt. Nevertheless, she does not agree that the pope is against contraception and strictly forbids abortions. But then she doesn't let that take away from her desire to celebrate. "I really wanted to come to Freiburg to experience a German pope in Germany. That is unique," said the 21-year-old altar girl enthusiastically. In addition, after the World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, she wants to meet again with like-minded people.

"I saw the Pope in the Popemobile for ten seconds this morning," enthuses 14-year-old Moritz Pohl. And that was already gigantic. "But now, fortunately, I see him longer," he says, beaming during the youth vigil. Another boy in front shouts as if he were in a soccer stadium: "Benedict here!! We are pope again!"

The third day of Benedict XVI's visit to Germany ended with the vigil. to the end. Tens of thousands of lights burned on the Freiburg fairgrounds to show that Jesus, as the "light of the world," illuminates the darkness.

Benedict XVI. will return to the Freiburg seminary afterwards. In the Collegium Borromaeum he will move into a modest room. "The pope will stay in the same way we usually accommodate our guests," said Michael Gerber, who heads the seminary.

Divine service climaxes with Sunday Mass
Sunday, the last day of the official papal visit to Germany, begins for Benedict XVI. will begin with the highlight of the trip: a large mass at the airfield on the outskirts of Freiburg. The preparations for this event have been going on for months. The altar stage is 20 meters high, there is a specially erected bell tower and 5.000 fir wood benches. About 100.000 faithful from all over Germany are expected. The liturgical texts are those of the 26. Sundays in the cycle, reading year A. Text I ("The Roman Canon") with the preface "for Sundays I" (Paschal Mystery and People of God) is used as the Eucharistic Prayer. At the end of Holy Mass, the pope prays the Angelus with the faithful and gives the Apostolic Blessing.

The rest of the day is likely to focus on the German church's latest dialogue initiative. At lunch with members of the German Bishops' Conference, the Pope can discuss this personally with members of the German Bishops' Conference.

Keynote speech in Freiburg on Christian engagement in society
In the afternoon, Benedict XVI. continue its program of talks. At seminary, he encounters federal trial court judges. Afterwards, the Pope moves on to the Freiburg concert hall. Here he meets with Catholics involved in church and society. A keynote speech is expected.

The 21. Pope Benedict XVI's trip abroad. ends with farewell ceremony at Lahr airport. German President Wulff travels to this. For 19.3 p.m. departure for Rome is scheduled.

Archbishop Zollitsch is convinced that the papal visit will not remain merely a media mega-event, but rather will bring lasting, spiritual strengthening. "Benedict XVI. will give us courage to walk the path into the future together in trust in God."

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