.- Sources close to the Holy See said this week Pope Benedict XVI, who began a 17-day vacation on Monday in the Italian Alps, might take advantage of the brief time away from the Vatican to begin writing his first encyclical. Vatican Radio quoted today the Italian Catholic newspaper “Avvenire” saying that the Pontiff has been working on the draft of his first encyclical “for weeks” and that he plans to finish it during this 18-day long vacation.
The Holy Father will stay at the same chalet in the village of Les Combes where John Paul II often vacationed. He arrived at the isolated chalet with three suitcases full of books, leading to speculation that he may spend much of his time drafting the first encyclical letter of his Pontificate.
The Bishop of the diocese of Aosta, Giuseppe Anfossi, said today that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen "a more private, quiet period of time, with less walks and more reading."