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A special pilgrimage – Pope Benedict in Poland 2006

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 28.02.2013 11:03
Pope Benedict's visit to Poland in May 2006, after the death of John Paul II, included tributes to his predecessor and prayers for forgiveness at the Auschwitz death camp site.

Pope benedict at site of Auscwitz death camp 2006. The late president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, is to the Pontiff's right: photo - prezydent.pl

Pope Benedict's pilgrimage to Poland, his second trip abroad as leader of the Roman Catholic church, included visits to the capital Warsaw, but also to Krakow, Poland's holiest shrines and Wadowice, the hometown of John Paul II.

In Wadowice, he told the faithful that he hoped "in the near future we will be able to enjoy the beatification and canonisation of John Paul II".

At the site of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, to which the then new Pontiff travelled, not in his white popemobile, but a black limousine, Pope Benedict said: "To speak in this place of horror, in this place where unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible, and particularly difficult for a Christian, for a pope from Germany. In a place like this, words fail. There is only a stupefied silence and a cry to God."

On the last day of Pope Benedict's pontificate, Father Manfred Deselaers, a German Roman Catholic priest who’s been living in the town of Oświęcim (Polish name for Auschwitz) since 1990, goes back to the Pontiff’s visit and talks about how the Pope is remembered in Poland. (pg/mk)

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