Journalists Fail as Would-be Papal Spies
Unable to Get Close to Vacationing Benedict XVI
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BRESSANONE, Italy, JULY 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI continues with his vacation in the seminary of Bressanone in the mountains of northern Italy, while some 260 journalists and technicians hover outside "spying" on his days of rest.
The Pope is spending his vacation in prayer, study, rest and silence. According to L'Osservatore Romano, each afternoon, he takes a walk with his brother, Georg Ratzinger, and his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gänswein.
Since July 28, when the Holy Father arrived at the seminary, he has not left the grounds, and news for the journalists is growing ever more scarce.
In his blog, Vatican watcher Luigi Accatoli asks if it was worthwhile to have traveled to Bressanone. But the answer, he quipped, "speaks of the level of the figure of the Pope today in the world: How is it possible to be absent from where he is? What if something happens or he does something unscheduled?
"The presence of the journalists in these two weeks at tranquil Bressanone is one more proof of the anticipation for everything that the Pope does or says. An anticipation that doesn't end, even when the situation brings discouragement.
"There is little to spy on from the other side of the wall of the black canvas they have put up to protect Benedict's walks in the garden of the seminary, but we are prepared for whatever could be necessary."
Preparations for the Holy Father's first meeting with the public at his vacation spot are under way: The Pope will publicly pray the midday Angelus this Sunday. Some 16,000 people are expected to gather for the prayer and the address the Pontiff gives before and after.
The municipal government of Bressanone will bestow honorary citizenship on Benedict XVI during a ceremony Aug. 9 at the seminary. The honor is in recognition of the Pope's contribution to interreligious dialogue.