Pope’s piano tuned, even if he can’t play for now

POPE

Pope Benedict and his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, after a concert in the Sistine Chapel last January. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

VATICAN CITY — The director of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo told the Vatican newspaper that preparations are almost complete for the pope’s expected arrival tomorrow evening: bushes have been re-potted, trees have been trimmed, flowers have been planted, walls have been painted and — he said — a piano tuner has come and gone.

Severio Petrillo, director of the villa — which includes the papal residence as well as gardens and a working farm — said he knows the pope has to wear a cast for another 20 days or so. But the pope’s brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, is arriving, too, and he’s a musician. For years, he was the director of the famous Regensburg Boys’ Choir. And, besides, Petrillo said, piano playing could be part of the physical therapy the pope will do once the cast is off.

Petrillo also said that at Castel Gandolfo Saturday the pope would meet swimmers, divers, water polo players and other athletes participating in the July 17-Aug. 2 FINA World Championship in Rome. The pope’s weekly general audience Aug. 5 also will be held at the papal villa, rather than at the Vatican, he said.

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