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MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
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Pope packs his bags for long summer break
Agence France Presse
Pope Benedict XVI stands on the balcony upon his arrival at his residence of Castel Gandolfo on June 3, 2012. (AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI)
Pope Benedict XVI stands on the balcony upon his arrival at his residence of Castel Gandolfo on June 3, 2012. (AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI)
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VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI took a helicopter to his summer residence outside Rome on Tuesday for a long holiday after a tough year marked by the scandal over leaks of confidential papers from the Vatican.

The 85-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church will hold general audiences on Wednesdays from August 1 until September in Castel Gandolfo, following a break in July.

There will be some official duties for the pope this month, including meeting with a group of cardinals who have been investigating the leaks.

On July 11, he will also attend a concert given by the Israeli-Argentine maestro Daniel Barenboim with his Arab-Israeli orchestra, the West-East Divan Orchestra, which will perform one of his favourite composers Beethoven.

He will also celebrate mass in the nearby town of Frascati in mid-July.

The pope has used previous summer holidays in the ancient palace on a hillside overlooking Albano Lake to work on his biography of Jesus Christ.

The pope has a busy programme in September and October, including a diplomatically sensitive trip to Lebanon on September 14-16.

In October, he will also launch the Year of Faith on the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Council.

 
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