- May 30, 2020
After nearly three months of closure due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Villa of Castel Gandolfo, the longtime papal summer residence, will reopen to the public in June.
As a heat wave sets records in Europe, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican on Thursday to enjoy the cool air of the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome.
When people ask why the Vatican has an observatory, one Jesuit priest says it’s because it cannot afford a particle accelerator.
Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican observatory, says, “It (science) always makes my faith stronger because it makes my relationship with the Creator much richer. When I go to pray, the God I encounter in prayer I compare with the God I encounter in creation. And see it is the same God.”
As the doors of the traditional papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo are thrown open to the public today, it’s worth recalling that during WWII the same thing happened, only not for a museum tour but to save the lives of refugees, displaced persons and people hunted by the Nazis.
To read the Italian press, one would think Thursday marks the definitive end of an era for Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of popes for the last four centuries, now being opened to the public as a museum. In Catholicism, however, the past is not only not dead, it’s not even past.