Briefing with the Holy Father's spokesman, Father Lombardi
On September 27, 2009 at 7:30 p.m., Father Frederico Lombardi offered a short briefing about the hitherto development of the papal visit. According to Lombardi, the Pope has expressed contentment about the way he has been received in the Czech Republic and a wish that the Czech Church be able to contribute more to the well-being of the Czech social and cultural life. He was also pleased by the friendly attitude of the Czech people.
The Pope was especially pleased that the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, attended not only the welcoming ceremony and their mutual meeting, but also most other meetings. He also said that he was "impressed by the quality of the performances" that were prepared for him. Being his successor, Benedict XVI. is glad that his visit to the Czech republic was understood in the speeches of the representatives of the public as a continuation of John Paul II's discourse.
Father Lombardi has confirmed that the private meetings between the Pope and the presidential couple was held in a very friendly mutual attitude. He also confirmed the words of the Czech Prime Minister, Jan Fischer, about the mutual good will that presided over the official meeting with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. Both state representatives expressed sincere hope in further opportunity for discussion in the future.
The Holy Father admitted that his visit cannot be of greater significance than the first visit of John Paul II, however, he wanted to contribute to the quest for truth according to his vision expressed by the words "Veritas liberavit vos" (the Truth shall liberate you) which he wrote into the Memorial Book of the Charles University at the meeting with the members of universities. The Pope has said that Europe is not only a continent but also the home, which is why the people should not only share their interests in economy but their values and views, too. In this regard, the Pope also appreciated and emphasized the importance of attentive ecumenism, especially in the center of Europe.
A question about the Prague Jews and the Pope's attitude to the crimes of World War II that took place in Prague was posed. Lombardi stated that the Pope has addressed the questions of oppression of Jews and condemned the crimes numerous times and there was no need felt to open the question in particular during this visit. The Pope greeted the representatives of the Jewish community shortly at the ecumenical meeting this afternoon.
According to Lombardi, the Pope would like the Czech people to understand the Church's desire to contribute to positive results on the field of education and solidarity. When asked about the Pope's attitude to the Czech secularism, Lombardi stated that the Pope knows about the problem and that he believes it can be solved by bearing witness of creative and profound faith. The Church's basic attitude is one of openness to cooperation, as the Church wants to be able to serve better to the society.
Ecclesiastically speaking, the Pope's expectations for the outcome of his visit is bringing hope to the Czech Republic, both to the Catholic community and to those who communicate with it. The Holy Father appreciated the reverend atmosphere of the mass in Brno which, according to Lombardi, was the largest celebration of the mass in the history of the Czech republic. He also emphasized the importance of tommorow's meeting with the youth in Stará Boleslav, the place of St.Wenceslaus martyrdom.