In his message for the 97th Deuschter Katholikentag meeting, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Catholics to take active part in political and social life. Here is the Vatican News Service write-up:
VATICAN CITY, 22 MAY 2008 (VIS) – Made public today was the Holy Father’s Message for the 97th “Deutscher Katholikentag” ecclesial meeting, which was inaugurated yesterday in the German city of Osnabruck. The event, attended by some 50,000 people, is due to come to an end on Sunday.
Commenting on the theme chosen for the meeting – “He brought me out into a broad place” – the Pope writes that “no small number of people today … are afraid that the faith may limit their lives, that they may be constrained in the web of the Church’s commandments and teachings, and that they will no longer be free to move in the ‘broad space’ of modern life and thought”.
However, “only when our lives have reached the heart of God will they have found that ‘broad space’ for which we were created. A life without God does not become freer and broader. Human beings are destined for the infinite”, he explains.
“The heart that has opened itself to God”, writes Benedict XVI, has become “generous and broad in its turn”. Such a one does not need to seek happiness and success “or to give weight to the opinions of others”. He is “free and generous, open to the call of God” and “can give all of himself faithfully because he knows – wherever he goes – that he is safe in God’s hands”.
“We trust that the meeting with God, in His word and in the celebration of the Eucharist, may open our hearts and transform us into gushing fonts of faith for others”.
The Holy Father particularly asks the lay faithful to ensure “that the future not be moulded exclusively by others; intervene with imagination and persuasive ability in the debates of the present time. … Using the Gospel as your parameter, participate actively in the political and social life of your country. As lay Catholics, dare to participate in creating the future, in unison with priests and bishops!”
In closing his Message, the Pope addresses the young people present at the meeting, telling them that he hopes to see many of them at World Youth Day, due to be held in Sydney, Australia in July.