SPEAKING OF VACATIONS....

SPEAKING OF VACATIONS. The RNC may have a beef with Markos Moulitsas taking a vacation, but that's not a position likely to win them more Catholic supporters this summer. Over the weekend, the Pope -- yes, the real, actual Pope -- issued a reminder to his flock that taking a break is the spiritually beneficial thing to do, and should be encouraged:

Working too hard, even for those leading the Catholic Church, is bad for the spirit, Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday as he greeted tourists at his summer residence outside Rome.

During his traditional weekly appearance to bless the faithful, Benedict quoted from writings of St. Bernard in the 12th century meant for the popes of his time on the subject of overwork.

Benedict quoted the saint as advising pontiffs to "watch out for the dangers of an excessive activity, whatever ... the job that you hold, because many jobs often lead to the 'hardening of the heart,' as well as 'suffering of the spirit, loss of intelligence.'"

"That warning is valid for every kind of work, even those involved in the governing of the church," 79-year-old Benedict said.

Obviously, being able to retreat to "the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the Alban Hills southeast of Rome," where the Pope is spending much of this and next month, makes the vacationing a bit easier. Still, you'd think the RNC would have been aware of this latest bit of papal advice, and not picked this exact moment to try to turn "a relaxing vacation" into some kind of sin.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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