The term "Love Parade" is
now trademarked. Berlin's
rave inspired the organization
of "Love Parades" in other cities
around the world, including
San Francisco, Tel Aviv,
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Ein deutscher Papst!
/ A German Pope!
April 19, 2005
The press is calling him "Papa Ratzi": The conservative
German Cardinal Josef Alois Ratzinger has been officially named as
John Paul II's successor in the office of pope. As Pope Benedict XVI,
the 78-year-old from the small Bavarian town of Marktl becomes the
265th pope in the history of the Catholic Church.
"Wir sind Papst!" - "We are the pope!" was the
headline splashed across the front page of Bild, Europe's most
widely circulated tabloid. While many Germans were proud to have a
native born son leading the Church, the conservative stances of the
new pope are controversial in his native country, which is more left-leaning
in its religious views. In his 23 years as John Paul II's right hand
man, Ratzinger established himself as an uncompromising defender of
church doctrine. He maintains unwavering traditional views on issues
such as abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and the ordination
of married and women priests. Reform-minded German Catholics were
disappointed by the election of the "Panzer Kardinal" (the
armored cardinal), also known at home as "God's Rottweiler,"
seeing it as a signal for continued divisiveness in the Church.
Nonetheless, many Germans are celebrating the ascendancy of a fellow
countryman to the top position of the Catholic Church, a celebration
that has been long in coming. Benedict XVI is the first German pope
to ascend the throne in nearly 500 years, and he is the eighth pope
of German origin in the history of the Church. Before Benedict XVI,
the last pope to consider himself German was Hadrian VI, who ruled
for 20 months around the start of the Reformation (Jan. 1522- Sept.
1523) and was unsuccessful in his attempts to have the great Reformer
Martin Luther ostracized from the Church. Hadrian VI was from Utrecht,
today in Holland but at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire of
the German Nation (das Heilige Römische Reich Deutscher Nation).
He was the last pope of non-Italian origin until the election of the
Polish John Paul II in 1978.
The first German pope to reign in Rom was Gregor V (996-999). The
remaining five popes of German origin ruled in the mid-11th century,
in the years between 1046 and 1058. A few significant moments in Church
history occured during the papacy of the Germans. Rome finally separated
itself from Constantinople during the rule of Leo IX and Viktor II
was the very last pope to be installed by the emperor. Damascus II
has the unfortunate distinction of having the shortest pontificate;
he died after only 23 days in office, purportedly of malaria.
2006 / World Cup Soccer Championship
Fans are finding out if they are among the lucky recipients of the
2006 World Cup soccer championship to be held throughout 12 cities
in Germany from June 9 to July 9, 2006. Do you know the names of those
cities? Pass over each number with your mouse to see if you're right.
See our World
Cup 2006 Germany soccer pages for more.
2005 Love Parade Cancelled
April 20, 2005
The world's biggest rave party, the Berlin Love Parade,
has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to lack of financing.
Both the languishing economy and the inability to court sponsors have
thwarted the massive music- and love-fest that once brought over a
million young people together on the streets of Berlin. The Love Parade
helped make Berlin the mecca for ravers and techno fans around the
world. At its height in 1999, some 1.5 million people flowed into
the city to take part.
Some wonder if, after a run of 16 years, the repeated cancelling of
the giant annual street party might be the sign of a larger trend.
Some of Berlin's legendary techno clubs -- E-Werk and Tresor, for
instance -- have closed in the last few years. And the chaotic atmosphere
of reunification-era Berlin that was fertile ground for such underground
and counterculture movements has since normalized.
It was in 1989 that DJ Dr. Motte and a small gathering of techno fans
first congregated in the popular shopping district on the Kurfürstendamm.
The peace-loving ravers danced there to electronic music that pulsed
out of speakers mounted on a wobbly van. Over the next decade, the
parade developed into a worldwide symbol for peace and alternative
youth culture.Each summer, young people -- from the neon-haired to
the scantily clad -- flocked to Berlin to take part in the weekend-long
In part, the Love Parade has been a victim of its own success. After
it was moved off the street and into the city's largest park, visitors
routinely disturbed the natural habitat, destroying trees and bushes
and driving away the wildlife. The city was was also burdened by the
costs of the parade clean-up. The 2001 Germans court ruling that the
parade no longer qualified as a political demonstration shifted the
cleaning tab from the city to the parade organizers, a cost that hosts
then had to scramble to finance. Finally, the counterculture aura
of the original parade dissipated with the influx of big business
seeking to capitalize by selling CDs and T-shirts.
Though the status of the Berlin Love Parade remains in question, the
organizers of the parade are commited to reviving it in 2006, the
year that millions will come to Germany for the World Cup soccer championship.
Until then, techno music and its fans will have to be content celebrating
in the clubs where the movement got its start.
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