Benedict XVI admits it's not easy being pope

25th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 July 2005, LES COMBES, ITALY - Being pope isn't easy, Benedict XVI admitted to reporters Monday during a break from his holiday in the Italian Alps.

25 July 2005

LES COMBES, ITALY - Being pope isn't easy, Benedict XVI admitted to reporters Monday during a break from his holiday in the Italian Alps.

Elected pontiff on April 19, German-born Benedict celebrates 100 days in office this week.

Asked whether being the spiritual leader of the world's one billion Catholics was a difficult task, he said: "In a way yes. I had never thought about this ministry, but the people are very good to me and support me."

Joseph Ratzinger appeared suntanned and in good spirits as he exchanged a few words with journalists before meeting local Church officials from Valle d'Aosta, the region where he has been on holiday since July 11.

But the 78-year-old pontiff has reportedly spent much of his time in his chalet in Les Combes working rather than relaxing.

Vatican insiders say he has been mulling over his first encyclical - a letter sent to Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world in which a pope's doctrine is spelled out - and over a batch of new appointments at the helm of the Holy See.

Benedict will stay in Valle d'Aosta until Thursday and will then spend the rest of the summer in his countryside residence in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.

On August 18 he make his first trip abroad with a visit to Cologne, Germany, where he will attend Catholic World Youth Day.

DPA

Subject: German news

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