- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 20, 2006

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) — Working too hard, even for those leading the Catholic Church, is bad for the spirit, Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday as he greeted tourists at his summer residence outside Rome.

During his traditional weekly appearance to bless the faithful, Benedict quoted from writings of St. Bernard in the 12th century meant for the popes of his time on the subject of overwork.

Benedict quoted the saint as advising pontiffs to “watch out for the dangers of an excessive activity, whatever … the job that you hold, because many jobs often lead to the ‘hardening of the heart,’ as well as ‘suffering of the spirit, loss of intelligence.’”

“That warning is valid for every kind of work, even those involved in the governing of the church,” the 79-year-old Benedict said.

Having had a vacation in the Italian Alps in July, Benedict is spending what remains of August and much of September in the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the Alban Hills southeast of Rome.

The pontiff will interrupt his holidays to make a day trip on Sept. 1 to a religious sanctuary on Italy’s Adriatic coast and to fly to his homeland, Germany, for a pilgrimage from Sept. 9 to 14.

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