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No signs of slowdown as Pope prepares for vacation

Pope John Paul II leaves the Vatican today for a two-week stay in northern Italy's Aosta Valley.

No public activities are planned, and no stream of visitors will be coming through the door of his wood-and-stone chalet. He can see Mont Blanc out his bedroom window, and he'll probably take drives to some of the most scenic mountain vistas in Europe.

At the end of two weeks, the Holy Father returns to his summer villa at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome until the end of September.

Last year he also found time to write a book, a recently published memoir on his years as a bishop. Until it was announced this spring, people had no idea that's how the pope spent his last summer vacation.

Catholic News Service has observed in a feature article that while Pope John Paul II may have been packing his bags for a summer vacation, events at the Vatican showed no sign of winding down in late June and early July.

Meanwhile Canadian Primate Cardinal Marc Ouellet has predicted that the next Pope will cut a "more modest" figure than Pope John Paul II.

Catholic World News reports that he says this will allow for more collegial governance of the Church.

It quotes an interview conducted by the Roman news agency I Media, in which Cardinal Ouellet observed that the primacy of the Pope has been "very strongly represented by John Paul II."

The Pope who follows him, the Oouellet suggested, is likely to take a less prominent role. He would probably have "a different style of pontificate, which would allow collegiality to function differently."

Cardinal Oullet made it clear that he did not intend his words as a criticism of Pope John Paul II.

"I would praise the Lord if he would send us another leader of the same stature," he said.

However, the cardinal reasoned, different men bring different skills and styles to the papacy, and "there are alternations in the history of nations and of the Church."

Summer days: No signs of slowdown as pope prepares for vacation (Catholic News Service 2/7/04)
Next Pope likely to be more collegial, cardinal predicts (Catholic World News 2/7/04)

Catholics slam Pope sitcom (Bath Chronicle 2/7/04)
Vatican sources no longer ruling out papal visit to Ireland (Irish Times 2/7/04)
Signs of Catholic-Orthodox Communion Are Needed, Says Pope (Zenit 2/7/04)
Pope Backs Collaboration With Anabaptists (Zenit 2/7/04)
Common Ground lecture; Tough document on Anglican crisis; Patriarch of Constantinople in Rome; Jews press for campaign against anti-Semitism in Latin America; Pope to Lourdes; Once more on human trafficking (National Catholic Reporter 2/7/04)
The Pope: Catholics and Orthodox Together to Reawaken the Christian Roots of Europe ( 4/7/04)
Pope Emphasizes Inter-Denominational Dialogue (Voice of America 4/7/04)
Pope returns to tradition with Alps retreat (Reuters 4/7/04)
Patriarch Invites Pope To Visit Istanbul (Associated Press/Tehran Times 4/7/04)
Pope Prepares for Holiday (The Scotsman 4/7/04)
Bruderhof community meets Pope (Independent Catholic News 2/7/04)
Pope and Patriarch sign joint declaration (Independent Catholic News 2/7/04)
Summer days: No signs of slowdown as pope prepares for vacation (Catholic News Service 2/7/04)
Ecumenical Orthodox patriarch invites pope to Turkey in November (Catholic News Service 2/7/04)
Vacationing Pope goes for a drive (CathNews 17/7/04)

5 Jul 2004