The 20th World Youth Day in Cologne was at the heart of the teaching of Benedict XVI in the month of August. The Day was the chance for the first Apostolic journey of Benedict XVI outside the walls of the Vatican and to his homeland. The Day was devoted entirely to the topic of adoration, as signified by the title of the event: “We have come to worship him” (Mt 2,2). The Pope proposed the Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration to the young people as the centre of Christian life, the focus of the life of the believers every day. The meetings of Benedict XVI with the representatives of the different Christian denominations in Germany, with the Jews and the Muslims were particularly significant. In these meetings, the Holy Father stressed once again the inspiring principles of a correct ecumenical dialogue, which must never betray the truth, which is Jesus Christ. Once again the Pope pointed out the commitments he engaged in at the beginning of his Pontificate: “to continue with great vigour on the path towards improved relations and friendship with the Jewish People”, “to take on as his primary task the duty to work tirelessly to rebuild the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers”, the necessity to continue “the interreligious and intercultural dialogue between Christians and Muslims […] it is in fact a vital necessity, on which in large measure our future depends”.
“From the heart of the “old” Europe - the Pope said during the first general audience after the journey to Cologne with the words he said for the final homily at the World Youth Day - which unfortunately experienced in the past century horrendous conflicts and inhuman regimes, the young people have relaunched for the humanity of our time the message of hope that does not disappoint, for it is based on the Word of God made flesh in Jesus Christ, who died and rose for our salvation. In Cologne, the young people encountered and adored Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the mystery of the Eucharist, and they came to understand better that the Church is the great family through which God creates a space of communion and unity between every continent, culture and race, a family vaster than the world that knows limits and boundaries; a "great band of pilgrims", so to speak, who walk together with Christ, guided by him, the bright star that illumines history. Jesus makes himself our travelling companion in the Eucharist”.