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Pope to Focus on Love, Not Controversy

Explains to Journalists on Flight to Spain

VALENCIA, Spain, JULY 9, 2006 ( As Benedict XVI left for Valencia, he explained to the 64 journalists who accompanied him on the plane that his visit is a message of encouragement to families, not controversy.

As Pope John Paul II used to do, the German Pontiff peered through the curtains to the section of the plane reserved for journalists, accompanied by Joaquín Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office, to speak with them and to respond to two questions in Italian.

Explaining the meaning of his visit to “beautiful Spain,” the Holy Father said: “I only wish to take a message of encouragement.”

The journalists’ first question referred to the contrast between the message on the family transmitted by the Church and the new Spanish laws which recognize, for example, homosexual marriage, including the adoption of children.

“I would not like to begin immediately with the negative aspects, because I am thinking of families that love one another, that are happy. We want to encourage this reality which is really the reality that gives hope for the future,” he said.

“There are also problems, points where the Christian faith says ‘no,’ it is true, and we want to make it understood that, precisely according to the nature of the human being, man and woman are ordered one for the other, and that they are also ordered to give a future to humanity,” he continued.

“Therefore, we underline these positive things and in that way we make it understood why the Church cannot accept certain things.”

A journalist asked Benedict XVI how he is preparing for his trip to Bavaria, Germany, next September.

The Pope replied: “on one hand, I prepare texts and on the other I prepare my heart. In this aspect I must say that my heart is always open for Germany, as it is for Spain.”

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