September 22, 2011. (Romereports.com) The Pope was welcomed with full honors in Berlin's airport. Upon his arrival, he was received by Germany president Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Just minutes later, a group of children gave him flowers and recited poetry, to make him feel at home.
The pope's official welcome came later on at the president's residence also known as Berlin's “Bellevue Castle.” In it, he explained why he decided to visit his home country.
“I have not come here primarily to pursue political or economic goals but rather to meet people and to speak about God,” he said.
In his speech, he reflected on how religion that's based on true freedom, helps build stronger societies.
“Religion is one of the foundations of a successful social life. Just as religion has the need for freedom, so also freedom has the need of religion.'”
The pope went on to highlight that liberty “develops when it has the responsibility of a greater good.”
"I can truly develop as a free person only by using my powers also for the welfare of others.”
From the presidential castle, the pope also referred to the “dark pages” of German history.
“A clear look at the past, even at its dark pages, enables us to learn from it and to receive an impetus for the present.”
Before ending his first meeting, the pope proposed a “solution” to end society's rampant indifference. He called for a type of dynamism that can engage all human sectors.
“It needs this in a world which requires a profound cultural renewal and the rediscovery of fundamental values upon which to build a better future.”
After the speech, the pope held a private meeting with the German president.