Saturday, 26 July 2008


VATICAN CITY, 25 JUL 2008 (VIS) - On Monday 28 July, the Holy Father is due to travel to Bressanone, a small city of 20,000 inhabitants located in the Italian alpine region of Alto Adige, where he will spend a period of vacation in the local seminary, until 11 August.
The fact that the Pope has chosen to go to Bressanone "represents a novelty with respect to earlier years" when he went to Les Combes in Valle d'Aosta and Lorenzago di Cadore, explained Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. in an interview. "The place is associated with many memories of Pope Benedict's life", said Fr. Lombardi "and has particular value for its German-language culture. What we call Alto Adige and in German is known as Sudtirol is, in fact, a fundamental area for German-language culture and the Pope, as a highly cultured man, will certainly feel at home there".
The director of the Holy See Press Office went on to point out that during his fortnight in the mountains "the Pope has no scheduled appointments, apart from his traditional meeting with priests from the diocese and the surrounding areas" which this year will take place on 6 August, and the praying of the Angelus on Sunday 3 August and Sunday 10 August.
After his return to Castelgandolfo on 11 August, the Holy Father will begin to prepare his forthcoming trips: to the Italian city of Cagliari on 7 September, and to Paris and Lourdes in France from 12 to 15 September. In October, the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God will meet "and the Pope is already preparing himself. It is possible that he may dedicate time - if he is well-rested and able to work - to the second part of his book on Jesus or to completing his social Encyclical, which we have been expecting for some time. Or who knows", Fr. Lombardi concluded, "but that he may have something else in mind: last year he gave us his Encyclical on hope which, in a certain sense, we were not expecting".