In Regensburg, a monument in memory of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. erected in the city eleven years ago. Regensburg Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer blessed the work of art erected in front of the Schottenkirche of St. James.
It is by the Eggenfelden artist Joseph Michael Neustifter and depicts a house. The sculptor also created several Benedictine columns, including one in Marktl am Inn as well as a Benedict statue in Altotting.
Brother of the Pope present at the blessing
Also present at the blessing on Tuesday evening was the Pope's brother and former Regensburg Cathedral conductor Georg Ratzinger. Also present was the private secretary of the emeritus head of the Church, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who delivered a greeting from Benedict XVI. read. In it, the latter wrote that he was pleased that the memorial had now taken shape out of diverse considerations and found a specific place. At first, however, he was a little surprised that a house had been chosen as an invitation to remember. "But the more I think about it, the more appropriate I feel this solution is."
The Pope Emeritus recalled the motto of his 2006 visit to Bavaria, "He who believes is not alone.". This sentence is now also expressed in the house, because a house is home and gives community and security. The image of the house expresses the contrast with abandonment, with the loneliness that threatens so many people today, recalled Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus.
Emeritus Pope criticizes new media world
In doing so, he also criticized the social media. "In the midst of an age in which no one seems to be alone any more, but in which contacts of all kinds take place all the time, it is precisely this universal togetherness that seems to make real encounters from the I to the Thou, from heart to heart, impossible."The house, on the other hand, refers to real togetherness, "in which we work together, sit at table, taste joy and sorrow together".
The artwork is a stylized bronze house standing on a black granite stele. On it, among other things, is a depiction of the Patrona Bavariae, the patron saint of Bavaria, as well as sentences from sermons and speeches delivered by the pope during his visit to Regensburg.
Vorderholzer: Benedict's Regensburg speech more topical than ever
The blessing was preceded by a pontifical vespers with Bishop Voderholzer. In his sermon, he recalled the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. in September 2006 in Regensburg during the latter's trip to Bavaria, as well as to the so-called Regensburg speech, which is more topical today than ever before. At the same time, he thanked the Pope Emeritus for his greeting, in which he interpreted the memorial in his "inimitable style".