Pope visits homeland in Germany

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI went to visit his homeland in Marktl-am-Inn, Germany today. The Pope celebrated Mass in front of 70,000 people, at Kapellplatz square. Benedict had a six-day homecoming tour of his native Bavaria, a state in Germany. He said a prayer remembering 9/11 victims.

Benedict also planned to make visits to where he was born, and to Freising, where he was ordained a priest. He will also visit Regensburg, where he once taught theology; he still has a house in the city, and his brother Georg, a retired priest and choir director, lives there as well.

"This is the mother that generations have come to Altoetting to visit," he said. "To her we entrust our cares, our needs and our troubles."

He visited his first house, which he lived till he was two years old. The house had to be cleaned after it was spattered with blue paint early on Sunday. The police described it as vandalism.

"This is a really big thing — I've never seen a pope before," said Juergen Tauer, a 38-year-old computer technician from the Bavarian town of Degendorf who took the day off to travel to Altoetting with his wife and three children. "It's great that the pope is coming to Altoetting."

Everyone was excited about the chance to see the pope.