What happens to the Pope's e-mail?

I just sent Pope Benedict XVI an email with some concerns of mine, a few prayer requests, and a pledge of fidelity on my part. Soon I wondered what happens to that email. I, myself, cannot rid my email of spam, so it must be terrible and even scandalous for the Pope to have to wade through it.

I assume he says some sort of general blessing for all those who contact him in this way, but I want to know what really happens! I have no delusions that I would recieve some sort of message back from him, but it made me feel good to send him my feelings, and I imagine this is just why that email account was set up.

According to Vatican correspondent John L. Allen Jr. in his book All the Pope’s Men (a book I highly recommend), papal electronic mail is printed out, boxed up, and sent to the Pope’s office by staff members. This is a highly tedious, time-consuming task, and it rather appears to miss the point of email to avoid the use of paper; but the upside is that the Pope doesn’t have to wade through spam.

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