Pope to emphasise fundamentals of faith on Germany trip
Pope Benedict XVI will speak about the Church's future and emphasise the "fundamentals" of faith in his visit to Germany, but will not address issues of dissent, the Vatican said Friday.
During a visit already mired in controversy, with a number of theologians leading vocal criticism over the Vatican's antiquated attitudes, the pope will focus on the trip's chosen theme: "Where God is, the future is born."
"Benedict XVI wants to return to the basics, rather than limit himself to particular points," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.
"The future of the Church does not depend on the celibacy or not of priests, even if it is an important question. It depends on faith in God," he said.
"It's not about avoiding problems but about not letting them sidetrack from the essential," he added.
Lombardi unveiled a packed program for the trip to the pontiff's native country: from Thursday to Sunday of next week, Benedict XVI will visit Berlin, Erfurt in the ex-German Democratic Republic, and Freiburg.
The 84-year old pope will give 18 sermons and speeches during his 21st trip abroad, he said.
Lombardi also refused to rule out the request made by a number of associations for the pontiff to meet with victims of clerical sexual abuse.
© 2011 AFP