Wed 22nd Oct 2014 | Last updated: Tue 21st Oct 2014 at 16:13pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

Pope begins summer holiday at Castel Gandolfo

By on Monday, 11 July 2011

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd after his arrival (CNS photo)

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd after his arrival (CNS photo)

Pope Benedict XVI has officially begun his summer holiday, taking a helicopter from the Vatican to the hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo, less than 15 miles south of Rome.

The Pope said as soon as he arrived: “One can find everything here: mountains, the lake, the sea, a beautiful church with a restored facade and good people.” He was speaking from the balcony of the papal villa to a crowd that had gathered to welcome him to the small town.

“I am happy to be here. Let’s hope that the Lord will give us a good vacation,” he said.

For the second year in a row, Pope Benedict has declined invitations to spend a couple weeks of the summer in the Italian Alps. He will be based at Castel Gandolfo until the end of September, according to Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

Throughout July the Pope has suspended his Wednesday general audiences, but he will pray the Angelus each Sunday with several thousand people who gather in the courtyard of the villa at Castel Gandolfo.

Fr Lombardi told Vatican Radio that skipping an Alpine vacation means reducing organisational and security headaches and costs for both the Vatican and the Italian government.

In addition, he said, Castel Gandolfo has “the advantage of being a familiar location, prepared and equipped for the presence of the Holy Father, a quiet place, where even the altitude is suitable – cooler than Rome, but not particularly high – it has gardens to walk in” and is conducive to prayer and the Pope’s cultural work, “both particularly dear to him”.

The spokesman said the Pope plans to prepare his speeches for World Youth Day in Madrid in August and for a trip to Germany in September. He also wants to continue working on the third and final volume of his Jesus of Nazareth series.

The first volume was published in 2007 and the second came out in March. Fr Lombardi said the Pope, who has already begun writing the third volume, expects it to be shorter than the first two and “a bit different in nature and approach” since it will cover Jesus’s infancy and childhood, for which there is very little information in the Gospels.

  • AgingPapist

    “I am happy to be here. Let’s hope that the Lord will give us a good vacation,”
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    Yes, let us hope the  International Court at The Hague will, in due course, give this Bavarian bureaucrat an even more permanent vacation.  Sardinia, Devil’s Island, Island of St. Helena could be made to be very comfortable for a former pope.

  • Dcruz

    The pope needs a break as he must be  worn out with all the scandals and irresponsable behaviour of some priests and Bishops who have failed to keep up with their  vows, duties  and responsabites for which they selected for.

  • Maggierae

    will pope Benedict whilst on holiday, reflect on the Cloyne report issued today, the apparent disappearance of bishop Magee and the criticism by the Primeminister of Ireland of the Vatican’s”attitude” to the whole sex scandal in Ireland?  Will he reflect on the terrible suffering in the Horn of Africa,in his luxurious surroundings,will he reflect on the fact that he asked British Catholics to make up,, financially,the “short-fall” inthe cost of keeping him and his entourage in luxury on his last visit to Britain?Does the vatican takes too literally the quote,”suffer little children” Perhaps it was translated as “Suffer, little children! Have a nice three month’s holiday!

  • Bert

    I pray the Pope does have a well deserved break and that he continues the vital struggle to purify the Church. I have every confidence that he will do so. As for the frankly pathetic comments posted here, try doing some research of your own or reserve your comments for your own clique of self righteous liberals.

  • Bert

    I pray the Pope does have a well deserved break and that he continues the vital struggle to purify the Church. I have every confidence that he will do so. As for the frankly pathetic comments posted here, try doing some research of your own or reserve your comments for your own clique of self righteous liberals.

  • mrpants

    There is not one credible piece of evidence that the pope has commited any crime. (I specifically exclude internet tittle-tattle).
    As for “Bavarian bereaucrat” that is nastily xenophobic and is borrowed from the master of duplicity Richard Dawkins.