Pope Benedict's visit to Cologne for World Youth Day triggered an avalanche of response from DW-WORLD readers, who had plenty to say about the state of the Catholic Church and the Pontiff's first official visit abroad.
Pope Benedict got a superstar's reception in Cologne
The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
We hear the anti-Catholic message all the time, trying to persuade us that homosexual activity, abortion, use of contraceptives, etc, should be encouraged and celebrated. Young people have a right to hear what the Church really teaches, and -- as their support for Benedict XVI and for John Paul II shows -- they do want to hear this message and they recognize it as true and as honoring human dignity. The media should learn that ferreting out spokesmen for lobby groups claiming to speak for the Church but in reality merely promoting the usual old anti-Church messages, is dishonest. Let the Church speak so that we can listen. -- Joanna Bogle
The critics should be silent. This was supposed to be a spiritual event, and they are making it political. I think that if Jesus' second coming took place during WYD, the first thing he would do would be to throw these hypocrites out of Cologne in a style not unlike when he threw money-changers out of the temple. -- Chris Wolfe, United States
It is not fair to mix religion and politics. Politicians must represent ALL voters and not just those espousing a religious faith. The pope and other religious leaders must stick to preaching to their flock! -- Anthony Oland
I believe that this Pope continues the understanding of the last one -- that all those who believe in God, no matter how they worship him, must be united. Our true enemy is the evil of violence and murder of innocents, especially when it is done in the name of God. This is blasphemy. -- Sharon Taylor, USA
There is no doubt in my mind that the Pope is a man of unity. It is made clear through his actions, which speak louder than words. His recent visit to a synagogue is a sign of an invitation to unity. -- Slawek Oblak , Canada
There should be no official involvement by the Pope in German politics (or anywhere else) as head of the Catholic Church. The detrimental consequences of such behavior are amply documented in history. The Pope should limit himself to his role as spiritual and moral leader of his Church. The separation of Church and State are still not adequately advanced far enough in Germany as it is -- e.g. religious instructions in public schools and tax support for the churches. -- Karl-Heinz Schroeder, US
The Church needs to be more Christian and less Roman. I pray that this ultra-traditionalist Pope will come to see what Christ really taught. His positions on sexuality, respect for the laity, the priesthood, and other topics are more militaristic than they are Christian. He must decide to follow Christ rather than the great earthly powers. -- Richard Allen Schladen
The Catholic Church will never change its stand on abortion, contraceptives, women or gay ordinations. It is not up to the Pope to change moral teaching that goes back to the early Church fathers. If Catholics want contraception, abortion, homosexuality, God bless them, but just join the Episcopal Church or any of the 33,000 protestant denominations which bend with the times. The Catholic Church will shape the culture, not be shaped by the culture, and that is the difference. These reform Catholics need to realize that they are truly not Catholic. That is okay and they can serve God in another denomination, but not the Catholic Church. Sorry. -- Russ Rentler