Pope John Paul II often liked to slip out of the Vatican for long walks in the countryside, where he would sleep on the ground under the stars, according to his former bodyguard.I think the 'international scandal' would relate particularly to the Italian State. For reasons of security and protocol, the Pope isn't supposed to leave the Vatican without informing the Italian government.
General Enrico Marinelli was appointed head of Vatican security in 1985, and took care of John Paul II for 14 years. His team was known as the pope's "guardian angels".
In a new book, The Pope and the General, he reveals the energy of John Paul in his early years as pope, and his love of nature.
He said John Paul had a secret escape from the Vatican, a small cottage in the province of Frosinone, near the mountains of Abruzzo.
From the cottage, John Paul would take long walks, often tiring out his guards. "In the first few years, he liked to sleep on the bare ground with just a simple woollen blanket," said the general.
The pope was also keen that the rest of the Roman Curia did not discover his secret. "Thank you," he told his guards. "Because if they found out it would be an international scandal."
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Pope John Paul II's Escapes...
From the Telegraph: