Pope prays at parents' grave, rests at own house

13th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2006, REGENSBURG, GERMANY - Pope Benedict XVI prayed Wednesday at the grave of his parents and spent the afternoon in his own private house in a provincial German city, Regensburg, taking time out from a triumphal visit to his Bavarian homeland. The pope, 79, said earlier that the trip's purpose was both to preach and spent time among people and places he loved, perhaps for the last time, since his travel schedule may not allow another visit home during his remaining lifetime. Hans Kueng, the

13 September 2006

REGENSBURG, GERMANY - Pope Benedict XVI prayed Wednesday at the grave of his parents and spent the afternoon in his own private house in a provincial German city, Regensburg, taking time out from a triumphal visit to his Bavarian homeland.

The pope, 79, said earlier that the trip's purpose was both to preach and spent time among people and places he loved, perhaps for the last time, since his travel schedule may not allow another visit home during his remaining lifetime.

Hans Kueng, the Swiss-born Catholic theologian who has been a long-time critic of the Vatican, meanwhile slammed Benedict for not having offered dialogue during the six-day visit to Germany that is to end Thursday.

There had not been "a single future-oriented signal" from the pope, nor were there any suggestions of reforms on the way, Kueng told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in an interview.

Kueng, who was invited to a long lunch and talk with Benedict in Italy last year, said however that in Germany "on a personal level, he made a nice impression and was on the wavelength of the faithful."

With his brother, Georg Ratzinger, 82, standing bowed at his side, Benedict prayed at the rose-and-lily-bedecked grave for their sister, Maria Ratzinger, who died in 1991 at 69, and their parents Joseph senior (1877-1959) and Maria (1884-1963).

The two brothers then withdrew to the comfortable Ratzinger private house and garden just a few hundred metres away which is mostly vacant and is cared for by a next-door neighbour, Rupert Hofbauer.

Until Benedict was elected pope, the Ratzinger brothers had intended to retire together to the Regensburg house.

The home was purpose-built in 1970, paid for out of Joseph Ratzinger's salary when he was a state-funded professor from 1969 to 1977 at Regensburg University. He regularly used it as a holiday retreat in his early years in Rome.

Earlier this week the pope visited Marktl-am-Inn, a small town 230 kilometres away where he was born but left at the age of two. The pope has no personal connections there, but has been good-humoured about Marktl's efforts to hype itself for Catholic tourists.

Benedict's only public appearance of the day was at a city church, where he showed up in bright sunshine, wearing sacred vestments to bless a new organ.

The pope has mainly preached from scripture this week, saying no word about what Kueng called "harsh Vatican rules" that refuse the priesthood to women or counsel Catholics against using contraceptives.

In a lecture to academics on Tuesday, Benedict had contended that Christian faith was based on "reasonableness" and different from Islam, which Benedict said taught that God's will was not bound, even by rationality.

The pope quoted the Byzantine emperor Manuel II as condemning the notion of jihad or holy war in the year 1391 and telling a Persian scholar in debate that spreading faith by violence was unreasonable.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article