The Vatican is brushing aside threats of a boycott by a number of German lawmakers when Pope Benedict XVI addresses the German parliament next week.
About 100 members of the Left Party and other opposition parties in parliament say they'll boycott the German-born pope's appearance at the Reichstag in Berlin on Thursday, at the start of the four-day trip.
Many of the lawmakers feel the appearance violates the principle of separation of church and state.
Other guests will fill the seats so the pope will have a full house in the 620-member parliament.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters Friday that Benedict has been invited to speak and "if someone has objections it doesn't depend on us or the pope."