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Pope Francis meets with Benedict XVI’s longtime secretary, Archbishop Gänswein

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, author of "Who Believes Is Not Alone: My Life Beside Benedict XVI," in an undated photo. (Photo: Daniel Ibañez - EWTN)

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2023 / 09:24 am (CNA).

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the longtime personal secretary of the late Pope Benedict XVI, met with Pope Francis this morning, according to the Vatican’s daily press briefing.

The German prelate’s meeting with the Holy Father comes only four days after Benedict XVI was laid to rest in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica on Thursday, Jan. 5.

It also took place shortly before the public release of Gänswein’s forthcoming book detailing his nearly 20 years of service to Benedict XVI. According to a preview of the text published by Reuters, the book includes details about the German pope’s alleged disagreements with his Argentinian successor over matters such as Pope Francis’ restriction of the traditional Latin Mass and his statements regarding moral matters such as abortion and homosexuality.

Titled “Nothing But The Truth — My Life Beside Benedict XVI,” Gänswein’s 330-page book will be released in Italian on Jan. 12. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has provided no comment on the book, which was written with Italian journalist Saverio Gaeta.

Another episode reportedly discussed in the book is Gänswein’s effective dismissal from the role of prefect of the Papal Household, which occurred in 2020. Originally appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, Gänswein continued to serve as prefect during Pope Francis’ pontificate, a role that includes organizing official audiences with the Holy Father.

However, Gänswein ceased performing the duties associated with the position following a controversy in January 2020 surrounding a book on priestly celibacy originally published as co-authored by Pope Benedict XVI and Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah. The book, “From the Depths of Our Heart,” was published amid the controversial pan-Amazonian synod and was seen by many as a critique from the former pontiff of Pope Francis’ allowance for questions of married clergy to be discussed during the proceedings.

Gänswein asked Sarah to remove Pope Benedict’s name as co-author of the text and said that a “misunderstanding” had led to the retired pope’s inclusion as an author.

Gänswein’s role did not change following the incident, but his cessation of papal household prefect duties was explained by the Holy See Office as a reflection of the “redistribution of the various commitments and duties” of papal household staff.

In his forthcoming book, Gänswein reportedly writes that, following the authorship incident, Pope Francis told him “not to come back to work tomorrow.” “Nothing But the Truth” reportedly claims that Pope Benedict wrote two letters to Pope Francis asking him to restore Gänswein to his duties because the German archbishop was “under attack from all sides,” but his reinstatement never took place.

With Pope Benedict no longer living, it is unclear what role Gänswein will have going forward in the Vatican, if any.

As is standard practice for private audiences, the details of the meeting were not shared by the Vatican press office. A request for comment from Gänswein was not immediately returned.

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  1. I hope Ganswein likes the weather in Outer Mongolia. Bergoglio does not tolerate disagreement or criticism, and Ganswein shall pay dearly.

    • If Ganswein is headed for Mongolia this will likely double the number of Catholics out there. The other recently having been named a cardinal. Maybe he would welcome an assistant.

      Can’t really send Ganswein to the gulag since that banishment option was closed down irreversibly by the leadership of some former and sequestered pope–named St. John Paul II, I think! And the author of much that is worthy of attentive reading, if for now only in exile, including Veritatis Splendor. St. Athanasius (bright light of the Council of Nicaea) was banished five times…

  2. It is totally irrelevant what Archbishop Ganswein reveals about Pope Benedict’s reaction to the Bergoglian Fiasco. We all know enough already about Bergoglio such that he will go down in the annals of Catholic Church history as a total failure in leadership and as a Vicar of Christ.

    Ganswein’s being summoned to a meeting with Bergoglio is the anticipated shakedown.

  3. It is unearthly timing that the “SJ-Rupnik-injustices” have surfaced these past few weeks, with photos of the Pontiff Francis SJ meeting face-to-face with the criminal sex abuser Rupnik SJ, if I recall correctly in January 2022, reportedly after the admitted “excommunication” and “instant-rehabilitation,” after which it is reported that our wonderful pontifical household had the “re-born” Rupnik offer a Lenten meditation for Vatican.

    Truly, these are remarkable successors of the Apostles, including our newly-minted curial ministers 2013-22.

    It’s an “amazing” pageant to behold, this “new-age-cult.”

    • He is bound to overstep the mark sooner of later. Some feel his energies are misspent and border on heresy.

      1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

      1 Corinthians 15:1-Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. …

      Let men of faith pray for him, let men of strength speak the truth in love.

    • I caught an interview yesterday on EWTN between Ganswein and Andreas Thonberg. Ganswein ” spilled the beans ” in the interview by saying at one point he asked Pope Emeritus Benedict whether God was asleep or not around that such painful things were taking place within the Vatican. Benedict responded unforgettably that just like the disciples were afraid on the boat as Jesus slept so it is understandable that sometimes disciples feel afraid but to never forget that Christ is here with us and all He has to do is say a few words to calm the storm. It was a great reminder of our current problem and solution which is Faith.

      Thank you for devoting your life to Christ and His bride and for your great article the other day.

      God Bless,
      Jim Gill

  4. “With Pope Benedict no longer living, it is unclear what role Gänswein will have going forward in the Vatican, if any”. The more urgent issue is His Holiness has likely sought to cut Archbishop Gänswein off at the pass as he did regarding emeritus Benedict’s earlier coauthored book with Card Sarah, Gänswein compelled to convince Sarah that Benedict’s assignment as coauthor was a misunderstanding. The text referenced Benedict’s objections to Amazonia and papal endorsement. Card Sarah, disquieted and convinced Benedict did agree, Gänswein intent on protecting Benedict’s guest status at the Vatican.
    Whether the Archbishop stays on at the Vatican is irrelevant. It was anticipated by this writer that Benedict was opposed to Francis on abortion, homosexuality, that Gänswein kept it under wraps to protect Benedict.
    Archbishop Gänswein will hopefully publish his book without redaction, likely requested by Pope Francis, for the sake of his own integrity and the good of the Church. Honesty on both sides of this disputed issue is best for all. Let the truth air out. I anticipate, now with public awareness he will publish as is and leave the Vatican.

  5. Fortunately, Bergoglio cannot impose the death penalty. But he will do everything he can – including imposing silence and banishment – on this faithful servant of God who has embarrassed him by telling the truth. I would not be surprised if he arbitrarily decrees laicization.

  6. Have heard that Mother Angelica had a tough time of living with her mother in the convent ; would not be surprised if both of the Fathers – the Pope Emer. and the Holy Father saw having the Archbishop around as an act of reparation, just as the Holy Father too has demonstrated in having difficult persons around . The Precious Blood revelations from Nigeria bring focus on the call to adore the Agonising Heart of The Lord ( as does the Eucharistic Miracle of Argentina ) -also for persons who manifest own wounds in ways not easy to deal with and not aware of the extent of such in them , yet being extended patience and compassion by the Fathers … not much gratitude in reciprocity either as seen by the haste with which attention was drawn unto the self pity portrayal …? lot of polite demons / spiritual worldiness etc :and ? left as an icon of same , for many others to be vigilant enough to see that just being around holy people/ being for worthy causes may not spare one – as the Holy Father warns often enough both in words and the ( sparse ) disciplinary acts chosen when judged in prudence that same might bring more benefit … the sufferings too that come from same might have earned both the Fathers powerful intercessory roles already for such situations – for our times that has no dearth of wounds ! Mercy!

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