"You are Peter, the rock, and on this rock I will build my church!"This word of Jesus is a mission and a program for every follower on the chair of Peter. Who Benedict XVI. During his 4-day trip through Berlin, Erfurt, Etzelsbach and Freiburg, I accompanied the current pope and can only give him an exemplary testimony!
Program excellently executed – mission accomplished in an exemplary manner: In the German Bundestag made clear to the people's representatives and people that state and democracy everywhere in Europe is built on their Jewish faith roots, on the Greek philosophy and the Roman legal system. That truth cannot be determined by majority vote and that God cannot therefore be excluded. In Erfurt, at the places where Luther worked, a historic sign was set for ecumenism by meeting with Protestant brothers and sisters in faith. In Etzelsbach, appreciated and strengthened the strength of faith of Christians in the East, who are often oppressed. And finally, in Freiburg, made it clear to the youth and the older faithful that the threat to the church comes not from outside, but from within – through too little strength of faith, commitment to faith and courage of faith.
In just four days, the 84-year-old pope not only delivered 17 speeches and addresses, but always conveyed his truth with the greatest clarity. No German parliamentarian must accept this truth and no evangelical Christian must share it in all points. Where Luther said one thing: "Here I stand and can do no other!", there the rock Ratzinger asserts today just as unshakably its point of view. Always affectionate, warm, gracious and humane, the pope is so committed to his office that he didn't even wobble a teensy bit during his trip back home. No ecumenical gifts for mixed-denomination couples in Erfurt – no reform signal, however small, for Freiburg's own Catholics. Those who had hoped for more from the pope are not necessarily naive dreamers. But he will have to take comfort in the fact that miracles are only done immediately with God. With humans, miracles usually take nine months, and with Mother Church, often a little longer.
The old Peter successor Bendict XVI. but in the meantime stand rock solid in the raging surf – no matter if it is called Zeitgeist or Reform. Perhaps just this is in times, in which many things are faltering, a signal that strengthens many believers. But this is exactly what Jesus had given Peter to do: "But strengthen your brothers!"