Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pope Says It's Important to "See the Funny Side" of Things
Posted on August 17, 2006

By Gerry O'Connell in Rome: "I'm not a man who constantly thinks up jokes, but I think it’s very important to be able to see the funny side of life and its joyful dimension and not to take everything too tragically." - Those were the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his third major interview since becoming Pope.

Speaking to Vatican Radio and German TV, Benedict disclosed that he did not “feel that lonely” in the Vatican, and drew strength from the crowds. And the 79-year-old pontiff revealed that although he did find the job physically tiring, it gave him joy as well.

Benedict said that he did not intend travelling much during his papacy as he did not feel strong enough to plan many long trips. He will, however, go to Brazil in May next year and will also visit Austria.In addition, he will return to his native Bavaria this September "to see again the places where I grew up, the people who touched and shaped my life. I want to thank these people."

Well aware that Germany, like other Western countries, is experiencing "drastic secularisation," he has chosen as his central theme of his visit the fact that "we have to re-discover God, not just any God, but the God that has a human face, because when we see Jesus Christ, we see God."

While in Germany, Benedict said he wanted to present a "positive and joyful" vision of Christianity and Catholicism, as he did in Valencia last month. Responding to comments that "Pope Benedict was different from Cardinal Ratzinger," the pontiff said that like everyone else he was influenced by "circumstances and situations and even people" as new responsibilities were taken on.

"Let's say that my basic personality and even my basic vision have grown, but in everything that is essential I have remained identical," he added.

“I’m happy that certain aspects that weren’t noticed at first are now coming into the open.”


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