VATICAN CITY, JULY 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- This September, Benedict XVI will travel to Germany for the third time during his pontificate, and he will visit the Marian shrine at Etzelsbach and the cities of Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg im Breisgau.
The Vatican published the official program of the Pope’s Sept. 22-25 trip to his native Germany, during which he will preside at more than two dozen events, in addition to participating in several other private meetings and lunches. He will deliver 18 addresses.
The 84-year-old Pontiff is scheduled to meet with the chancellor and president of Germany, leaders of the Jewish, Islam, Orthodox and Evangelical communities, as well as preside at a youth gathering and a public Mass in the nation’s Olympic stadium.
Upon arriving in Berlin on Thursday, Sept. 22, the Holy Father will be greeted at the Berlin-Tegel International Airport.
He will then attend a welcoming ceremony at the Bellevue Castle, the official residence of the president, where he will deliver his first address. Afterward, he will meet President Christian Wulff.
The Pontiff will visit the headquarters of the German Episcopal Conference in Berlin, where he will be greeted by the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. He will then eat lunch with the Catholic Academy of Berlin.
In the afternoon, Benedict XVI will deliver an address to the German Parliament at the Reichstag, where he will also address a gathering of representatives of the local Jewish community.
At 6.30 p.m., the Pope will celebrate Mass in Berlin’s Olympic stadium, which Adolf Hitler built for the 1936 Olympic Games, and deliver a homily.
On Friday, Sept. 23, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass privately at the apostolic nunciature in Berlin before addressing representatives of the Muslim community at 9 a.m.
Afterward, the Pope will travel from Berlin to Erfurt, where his first stop will be to the Cathedral of St. Mary of Erfurt.
At 11:45, the Pontiff will address a meeting of representatives of the German Evangelical Church Council at the Evangelical Monastery of St. Augustine’s. Afterward, in the same location, he will also deliver a speech at an ecumenical celebration.
Benedict XVI will eat lunch at the monastery, and then depart via helicopter to visit Etzelsbach, where at 5.45 p.m. he is due to preside and deliver an address at Marian vespers at the Wallfahrtskapelle. Following the celebration he will return to Erfurt.
On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 24, the Pope will celebrate Mass at Erfurt’s Domplatz, and deliver a homily.
He will then depart for Freiburg im Breisgau, where he will first visit the local cathedral and greet the faithful in the Münsterplaz.
During the afternoon he will go to the local seminary where he will meet first with Helmut Kohl, former chancellor of Germany, then address a gathering of representatives from the Orthodox Churches.
Afterward, the Holy Father will address the seminarians themselves, and in a separate meeting, the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZDK).
At 7 p.m., Benedict XVI is scheduled to preside at a prayer vigil with young people at the Fair of Freiburg im Breisgau.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, the Pope will celebrate Mass and deliver a homily at the airport of Freiburg im Breisgau. He will then give his weekly address before praying the Angelus with the faithful.
Following Mass, the Holy Father will have lunch with members of the German Episcopal Conference. At 4.20 p.m. he will meet with magistrates of the Federal Constitutional Court, then address a gathering of Catholics active in the Church and society.
Following the departure ceremony at the airport of Lahr, during which the Pope will give his final address, the papal plane will depart for Rome where it is expected to land at Ciampino airport at 8:45 p.m.