When Benedict XVI arrives in Berlin this week, he will be greeted in his homeland by a Lutheran chancellor, a gay mayor and a divorced, remarried Roman Catholic president.

The breadth of potential social and religious conflicts represented by the German leadership reflects the state of a nation that is proud of, but also sometimes indifferent and antagonistic toward, the German-born pontiff — and the church he represents.

In a weekend address on German television ahead of his Sept. 22-25 visit Benedict told viewers he was especially excited to visit Berlin and speak in the German parliament.

“All of this is not religious tourism, even less a show,” the 84-year-old pope, born Joseph Ratzinger, said an address broadcast on ARD television late Sunday. “It is about bringing God back into our field of view; God who is often missing, but so very needed.”

Not all Germans are so convinced.

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