VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI’s trip to Germany next September was officially confirmed by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau.
In a statement, the archbishop noted that the Pope will travel to Germany from Sept. 22-25, and that it will be considered a state visit. The Holy Father received invitations from both the president of Germany, Christian Wulff, and the country’s episcopal conference.
Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit three cities — Berlin, Freiburg and Erhfurt — but the statement of the archdiocese noted that no official itinerary had been set. It did add, however, that it “will begin shortly. “
Archbishop Zollitsch reported as well that the plenary of the German Bishops’ Conference scheduled for early October in Fulda will be moved to another date, yet to be confirmed.
In addition to visiting his homeland, Benedict XVI is scheduled to take three other international trips in 2011: Croatia (June 4-5), Spain (August 18-21) and Benin (Nov. 18-20).
He will take four trips within Italy: Venice (May 7-8), San Marino (June 19), Ancona (Sept. 11) and Lamezia Terme (Oct. 9).
Missionaries and children
The Vatican press office announced today that Benedict XVI will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta by hosting a luncheon in her honor on Dec. 26. The event will be held in the atrium of Paul VI Hall, and will be attended by those who receive the assistance of the communities of the Missionaries of Charity in Rome.
On Jan. 5, the eve of the solemnity of the Epiphany, the Pope will visit children in Rome’s Gemelli hospital. He will bless a new center for the care of children with spina bifida and participate in the distribution of presents to the young patients.