Pope to meet with Kohl, Merkel on Germany visit

AP News
Posted: Jul 20, 2011 8:14 AM
Pope to meet with Kohl, Merkel on Germany visit

Germany's bishops conference says Pope Benedict XVI will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and longtime former leader Helmut Kohl in his upcoming visit to the country of his birth.

The organization on Wednesday released the official program of the Sept. 22-25 tour, Benedict's first state visit to Germany since becoming pope.

It also includes meetings with other politicians, as well as Jewish and Muslim leaders.

The pope is to focus on the future of faith in a country that saw record numbers of Roman Catholics leave the church in 2010.

Among other things, he will celebrate mass in Berlin's Olympic stadium, built during the Nazi era for the 1936 games. Benedict is also to give an ecumenical service in the eastern city of Erfurt.