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Papst Benedikt XVI bei einer Predigt mit einer Hand nach oben zeigend.

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Homilies of Benedict XVI

Notable homilies with introductory notes

This selection is constantly expanding

The Tears of Rome

Cardinal Ratzinger’s homily was a masterpiece of ecclesiastical rhetoric biblically grounded yet very personal theologically strong yet accessible to all


by Georg Weigel 

George Weigel is a Catholic theologian and one of America’s leading public intellectuals.

Follow me!

Funeral Mass and Burial of the Body of the Roman Pontiff John Paul II

A strong breeze catches the red robes of the cardinals as they take their places for requiem mass for the late Pope, John Paul II.

The Struggle Against the "Dictatorship of Relativism"

Before entering the conclave that he would later come out of as Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger received worldwide attention for a homily he delivered as Dean of the College of Cardinals. In his homily at the mass Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice at St. Peter's Basilica on 18 April 2005, Ratinzger warned against a "Dictatorship of Relativism", coining a term that would characterize the great intellectual debates of our time and making clear the challenges that face the Christian faith today.


by Professor Tracey Rowland

[Translate to English:] Portrait von Tracey Rowland

The “Dictatorship of Relativism” and the measure of true humanism

In his homily at the Missa Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice at St. Peter’s on 18 April 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger identifies, in dramatic terms, the central challenge facing the Church today. She must continue to be a witness to truth in the midst of massive ideological distortions and conflicting opinions.

Als Dekan des Kardinalskollegiums stand Joseph Ratzinger der Eucharistiefeier vor und hielt die Predigt.

The Great Transformation

At World Youth Day in Cologne, the pope was celebrated like a rock star. But Benedict’s message went deep. His homily at Mass in the Marienfeld on 21 August 2005 went right to the heart of the Faith. The pope exhorted the those in attendance to live their lives centered around the Eucharist and the Sacraments. In doing so, they would change not only themselves, but the world.


by Tanja Constien

[Translate to English:] Portrait Tanja Constien

The intimate explosion of good

At the XX World Youth Day in Cologne, Benedict XVI delivered a homily to young people from all over the world, in which he explored the central role that the celebration of the Eucharist plays in the life of the Christian and the salvation of the world. Below, we present the full text of the homily as delivered by the Pope at Holy Mass in the Marienfeld on 21 August 2005.

Papst Benedikt XVI. (li., GER) hält den Gottesdienst zur Vigilfeier während des XX. Weltjugendtages 2005 in Köln

Without God, life cannot succeed!

In his homily at the Holy Mass in Munich on 10 September 2006, Benedict XVI called on us to free ourselves from our deafness to God and focus on the question of God.


by Dr. Franz-Xaver Heibl

[Translate to English:] Portrait Franz Xaver Heibl, junger Mann mit Brille

Do we need God? And if so, why?

In Munich, Benedict XVI explains why the absence of God has dramatic consequences for each individual as well as for society as a whole. The text of his sermon at the Holy Mass in Munich on 10 September 2006 in full.

Papst Benedikt XVI. (GER) während der Messe in München

"... in this common task there is no division between us!"

In his homily at Ecumenical Vespers in Regensburg Cathedral on 12 September 2006, Benedict XVI urges Christians of all denominations to bear united witness in a world full of confusion.


by Professor Christoph Binninger

Bearing witness together

In his homily at the Ecumenical Vespers in Regensburg, Benedict XVI emphasised the importance of the Christian image of God and called for a committed profession of faith. The consensus on Justification is an obligation that has not yet been met, the Pope warned. The homily of 12 September 2006 in full.

Einzug von Papst Benedikt XVI. (li., GER) zur ökumenischen Vesper in den Dom von Regensburg

“Where God is, there is a future”

In his homily at a youth prayer vigil on 24 September 2011 in Freiburg, Germany, Benedict XVI exhorted the young people present to build their lives on Christ and thus be the “light of the world”.


by Barbara Krämer

[Translate to English:] Portrait Barbara Krämer ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut Papst Benedikt XVI.

“You are the light of the world!”

In his homily at a youth prayer vigil in Freiburg im Breisgau on 24 September 2011, Benedict XVI urged those present to be resolute in their Christian faith. Holiness does not mean being perfect, but to allow friendship with Christ to form the basis of one’s life. Below is the full text of the homily.

brennende Feuerschale, im Hintergrund sieht man Papst Benedikt XVI. und weitere Gläubige

For Catholics, victory looks different

The anti-Marxist Ratzinger in the Plaza de la Revolución: Benedict XVI’s words in Cuba were a powerful demonstration of what it means to recognize the truth that makes us free. The Pope emphasized that Christians have no enemies; their only enemy is ideology when it ceases to seek the truth.


by Fr. Karl Wallner, OCist

Portrait Pater Karl Wallner

The truth will make us free

In his homily in the deeply symbolic Plaza de la Revolución in Havana, Benedict XVI explores the connection between truth and freedom, emphasizing that the true liberator of mankind is none other than Jesus Christ.

Kommunismus trifft Kirche: Cubas Präsident Raul Castro begrüßt Benedikt XVI.

Faith as true enlightenment

In his final Easter Vigil homily as head of the Catholic Church, given on 7 April 2012, Benedict XVI makes an almost incidental reference to the activity of bees. It’s an image rich with symbolic meaning.


by Professor Michaela C. Hastetter

Portrait of Professor Michaela C. Hastetter

The one night that changes everything

In his homily from the Easter Vigil in 2012, Benedict XVI reflects on the liturgy’s symbolic use of light to explain the meaning of the Christian faith in the resurrection. 

Papst Benedikt XVI. hält eine Kerze vor sich, um ihn rum ist alles dunkel. Es ist bei der Osternachtpredigt 2021.

This feature will appear shortly.

Papst Benedikt XVI beim lesen einer Zeitung an seinem Schreibtisch

This feature will appear shortly.

Papst Benedikt XVI beim lesen einer Zeitung an seinem Schreibtisch