“To all of you I appeal: Open wide your hearts to God! Let yourselves be surprised by Christ! Let him have ‘the right of free speech’ during these days.”
1.1 Different types of texts
The addresses given by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Cologne can be divided roughly into five types:
-addresses given during encounters with state authorities (eg as he was welcomed to Germany at the airport, and at the departure ceremony at the same airport)
- addresses given during meetings with special groups from within the Catholic Church (eg to a meeting with seminarians and to a meeting with the German Bishops)
-addresses that might more properly be described as homilies (eg at the Vigil and concluding Mass in Marienfeld, and as he met young people on the banks of the Rhine on his arrival in Cologne)
-addresses given during meetings with Christians of other denominations
-addresses given to meetings with believers of other religions (eg during his visit to the synagogue in Cologne and during his meeting with Muslims).
The total length of his addresses runs to something approaching 45 pages - of small print! These were all delivered during the course of four days, between about mid-day on Thursday 18th August and 6 pm on Sunday 21st August.
1.2 Key themes
Running through Pope Benedict’s addresses in Cologne, there are a number of key themes:
-a reflection on the absence of God from contemporary life (homily during the Vigil at Marienfeld, homily at the closing Mass at Marienfeld,
-the call to a meeting with Jesus Christ (the address as he met young people on the banks of the Rhine on his arrival in Cologne, the address to seminarians)
-the Eucharist as the place of our meeting with Jesus Christ and the source of transformation for the world (homily at the closing Mass at Marienfeld, and also as he met young people on the banks of the Rhine on his arrival in Cologne)
-an affirmation of the Christian heritage of Germany and of Cologne (the address given on arrival at the airport, the address after visiting Cologne cathedral)
-the example of the saints (homily during the Vigil at Marienfeld, and the address after visiting Cologne Cathedral)
-dialogue with Christians of other denominations (the address during the meeting with Christians of other denominations)
-dialogue with believers of other religions (the address during the visit to the Synagogue in Cologne, address during the meeting with Muslim leaders)
1.3 Extracts from Pope Benedict XVI’s message at the end of the Mass with the Cardinals immediately after his election as Pope
The themes of Pope Benedict’s addresses in Cologne can also be seen in the first message that he delivered when elected successor of St Peter.
“The Church today must revive within herself an awareness of the task to present the world again with the voice of the One Who said: 'I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.' In undertaking his ministry, the new Pope knows that his task is to bring the light of Christ to shine before the men and women of today: not his own light but that of Christ. …”
"In a very significant way, my pontificate starts as the Church is living the special year dedicated to the Eucharist. How can I not see in this providential coincidence an element that must mark the ministry to which I have been called? The Eucharist, the heart of Christian life and the source of the evangelizing mission of the Church, cannot but be the permanent centre and the source of the petrine service entrusted to me. …
"Thus, in full awareness and at the beginning of his ministry in the Church of Rome that Peter bathed with his blood, the current Successor assumes as his primary commitment that of working tirelessly towards the reconstitution of the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers. This is his ambition, this is his compelling duty. …
"With this awareness, I address myself to everyone, even to those who follow other religions or who are simply seeking an answer to the fundamental questions of life and have not yet found it. I address everyone with simplicity and affection, to assure them that the Church wants to continue to build an open and sincere dialogue with them, in a search for the true good of mankind and of society." 
 Pope Benedict XVI Address to young people on the banks of the River Rhine on arrival in Cologne, 18th August 2005.
 Pope Benedict XVI Message at the end of the Eucharistic Concelebration with the members of the College of Cardinals Wednesday, 20 April 2005