Pope Benedict XVI arrives for his weekly general audience on July 1, 2009 at St Peter's square at The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI will release a social encyclical on July 7, "Caritas in Veritae" (Charity in thruth). AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

What role does humor play in the life of a pope?

“I’m not a man who constantly thinks up jokes. But I think it’s very
important to be able to see the funny side of life and its joyful
dimension and not to take everything too tragically. I’d also say it’s
necessary for my ministry. A writer once said that angels can fly
because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Maybe we could also
fly a bit if we didn’t think we were so important.”

Would you say that you like what you do, that it isn’t a burden for you?

That would be saying a bit too much, because it really is tiring. But in any case, I try to find joy here too.

Pope Benedict XVI, interview with the German media in August 2006

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia.