With all of the speeches and homily Pope Benedict has given over the past few days, what has the media grasped onto?

The Pope’s parents met through an advertisement was one of the headlines on the local newscast yesterday afternoon. Not a word about anything the Pope said and only a brief mention, almost an afterthought, was given to his trip to Bavaria.

It seems people are either fascinated that a Pope can be the fruit of a seemingly ordinary union or they are attempting to make his seem somehow less holy because of it. Anyway, I am very dissapointed that some in the media think this is the most important news of the Papal trip. Of course, it is probably the least threatening to our modern culture because it doesn’t cause any examination of morality or culture…or does it?

London, Sep. 11, 2006 (CNA) – Pope Benedict XVI and his brother, Fr. Georg Ratzinger, 82, were surprised to learn this week that their parents, Joseph and Maria, met through a singles ad their father had placed in local Catholic weekly, Liebfraubote.

The disclosure came at the outset of the Pope’s return to his native Bavaria, where he intends to visit his parents’ grave and the village of Marktl am Inn, where he was born, reported the London Times.

The July 1920 ad was found in the Bavarian state archives by a researcher for the tabloid Bild. According to the report, the ad read: “Middle-ranking civil servant, single, Catholic, 43, immaculate past, from the country, is looking for a good Catholic, pure girl who can cook well, tackle all household chores, with a talent for sewing and homemaking with a view to marriage as soon as possible. Fortune desirable but not a precondition.”

Maria Peintner, 36, an illegitimate baker’s daughter and a trained cook, replied. She did not have a fortune, but they married four months later.

The Pope said he remembers his father as “strict but fair” and his mother as warm and open-hearted,” reported the Times.

While the article gets several things wrong, the Pope and his brother were both aware of the circumstances of his parents meeting. In fact, I read about it several months ago in a book. Unfortunately I don’t remember the title.

The ad doesn’t sound like the personal ads we see today. Mr. Ratzinger seems to be focusing on the proper aspects of a person. He does not describe himself in terms of physical attributes, rather he describes himself in words that speak to his morality and and work ethic. He likewise uses similar language to describe the attributes he would like in a wife.

Even in this story there is a serious message. Unfortunately, most people are missing it.

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