VATICAN CITY, 28 JUL 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI is to be granted honorary citizenship of Introd, the Italian alpine locality which includes Les Combes, site of the Salesian-owned villa where the Pope is currently spending a holiday.
The announcement was made by Osvaldo Naudin, mayor of Introd, who explained that the decision was taken unanimously at a meeting of the town council held last week. Benedict XVI has spent his July holiday at Introd on three occasions, in 2005, 2006 and 2009, while the town has hosted holidaying Pontiffs on a total of thirteen occasions. The conferral of citizenship will take place in Rome this winter, probably in December when a delegation from Introd makes a traditional visit to the Vatican to wish the Pope a happy Christmas.
On a separate front, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. announced on Vatican Radio that the Pope has confirmed his intention to attend the exposition of the Shroud of Turin, due to take place in that Italian city in the spring of 2010. The Holy Father thus accepts the invitation of Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin with whom he had lunch last Sunday, although the exact date of the trip has not yet been settled.
.../HONORARY CITIZENSHIP SHROUD/INTROD VIS 20090728 (220)