This in from the Catholic New Service:
Pope John Paul II will skip his customary vacation in the Italian mountains this summer because his traveling schedule is already full, Vatican sources said.
Normally the pope spends about 10 days in the northern Italian alps in mid-July. He used to spend much of his Italian vacation hiking, but in recent years he has taken drives instead.
This year, the pontiff, who turns 82 in May, plans to travel to Toronto for World Youth Day ceremonies, then to Guatemala and Mexico. The July 23-Aug. 1 trip is expected to begin with a rest and relaxation stop of three days at a yet-undisclosed location outside Toronto.
The pope also has been invited to his native Poland this summer, and Vatican sources said he was likely to travel there in mid-August. The trip probably would include a stop in the Tatra mountains, where the pope hiked as a young man.
The pope also plans to travel to Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in late May.
Several points to ponder:
1. How will he manage to do all of this?
2. Where will he rest in Canada? (I've also heard that he will visit New York and Ground Zero during this three day period, from my secret sources).
3. Why are they planning trips, when the Church is falling into ruin?