Cento Giorni Benedetti
And, as if it wasn't obvious before, he ain't just sittin' pretty:
Mainstream churches in the West appear to be dying as societies that are increasingly secular see less need for God, Pope Benedict said in comments published on Wednesday.
His outlook was even glummer than that of his predecessor John Paul, who lamented the decline of faith in the developed world and said it explained the Catholic Church's struggle with falling attendance in the West in recent years.
Benedict said many developing countries were, by contrast, enjoying a "a springtime for faith.""It is different in the Western world, a world which is tired of its own culture, a world which is at the point where there's no longer evidence for a need of God, even less of Christ...."
It's intriguing that he's been very uninhibited in the statements he's made on vacation, much more free-flowing and provacative than he's been in the addresses we've been hearing in Rome.
Ratzinger has always used his summer holidays for symposia, conferences, and other free-wheeling speaking engagements -- the interviews for the Messori book and the Seewald books were done over the summer months as well, if memory serves.
To the priests the other day at Introd, B16 said the following (translation courtesy of ICEL):
"For a Pope there is always the danger of being a little removed from real life, from the reality of every day, and above all from the priests who are working on the front lines, indeed here in Val (d'Osta), and in so many parishes and right now... with the lack of vocations, in conditions that demand special physical strength.What a joyous hundred days it's been.
"So for me it is a grace to be able to meet, here in this beautiful church, the priests and the presbyterate of this Val (d'Osta). And I want to say thank you for having come - because for you, this is vacation time, too! To see you gathered together, and thus to see myself united with you, to be close to the priests who work day by day for the Lord as the sowers of the Word, is for me a comfort and a joy."