German Pontiff Intends to Go to Youth Day in Cologne

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2005 ( Benedict XVI’s first international trip might well be to his native Germany, for World Youth Day this August in Cologne.

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It was the only trip that remained in John Paul II’s agenda, who convoked the event after World Youth Day in Toronto in July 2002.

In the first message of his pontificate, the new Pontiff, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, greeted young people in particular, «privileged interlocutors of Pope John Paul II,» and directed to them his «affectionate embrace while waiting, God willing, to meet them in Cologne.»

«With you, dear young people, future and hope of the Church and of humanity, I will continue to dialogue, listening to your expectations in an attempt to help you to encounter ever more profoundly the living Christ, the eternally young,» Benedict XVI said in his message to cardinals today.

The trip to Cologne on John Paul II’s agenda was to take place Aug. 18-21.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, revealed that Benedict XVI, no sooner elected on Tuesday, confirmed his intention to attend World Youth Day.

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