Upon receiving the the new ambassador of Germany to the Holy See, the Pope said: "The Church looks with concern at the growing attempts to eliminate the Christian concept of marriage and the family from the conscience of society. Marriage is the lasting union of love between a man and a woman, which is always open to the transmission of human life". In this context the German Pope identified the need for a "culture of the person" and reminded the German people that "the construction of a human society requires faithfulness to truth."
The Holy Father on Monday received the Letters of Credence of Walter Jurgen Schmid, the new ambassador of Germany to the Holy See. He used the event to speak to the German people.
The Pope began by mentioning Fr. Gerhard Hirschfelder, a martyr priest who died under the Nazi regime and who is due to be beatified in Munster on 19 September. He also referred to the beatifications of four other priests and the commemoration of an Evangelical pastor, scheduled for 2011.
"Contemplating these martyrs", said Benedict XVI, "it emerges ever more clearly how certain men, on the basis of their Christian convictions, are ready to give their lives for the faith, for the right to exercise their beliefs freely and for freedom of speech, for peace and human dignity".
However, he went on, "many men tend to show an overriding inclination towards more permissive religious convictions. The personal God of Christianity, Who reveals Himself in the Bible, is replaced by a supreme being, mysterious and undefined, who has only a vague relation with the personal life of human beings.