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Germany

Pope's New Crest Features Bavarian Symbols

Pope Benedict XVI's new papal crest incorporates symbols of his native region of Bavaria in southern Germany, according to a statement released by the Archbishop of Munich's office and the Vatican on Tuesday. All the symbols which already feature on the crests of the

Archbishop of Munich and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the pope's former role at the Vatican, appear on the new crest. The centerpiece of the crest is a shield divided into three sections. One shows a bear carrying saddlebags, which was said to have accompanied the eighth century Saint Corbinian, the Bishop of Freising, who spread the Christian word in Bavaria. It symbolizes the "taming of the pagan savagery by the Catholic faith", according to the statement. Another contains a shell "which has several meanings", one being as a symbol "of the baptism in the infinite sea of divinity". In the third is the "Caput Aethiopum", or Ethiopian head, which has been used by all archbishops of Munich since 1316. Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Ratzinger in the small Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn in 1927. He became Archbishop of Munich in 1977.

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