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Secretary says Pope Benedict 'pruned dead branches' in Vatican bureaucracy

Catholic World News - June 08, 2012

Msgr. Georg Ganswein, the personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, has defended the Pontiff against charges of mismanagement in connection with the “Vatileaks” scandal.

Speaking to the Italian daily Avvenire, Msgr. Ganswein said that the Pope “has given life to ancient traditions in the Curia and at the same time he has pruned dead branches.” He added that the Pope has not been deterred from action by the leaks of confidential documents, saying: “Benedict XVI is not afraid of confrontation and debate.”

Msgr. Ganswein’s reference to “dead branches” could have the effect—intended or not—of angering the Vatican officials whose resentments have apparently led to the release of the confidential documents.

Vatican-watchers believe that the leaks have been arranged by officials who chafed under the authority of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State. The Pope’s decision to appoint Cardinal Bertone to that crucial leadership role dismayed some old hands at the Vatican, since Cardinal Bertone did not have prior experience at the Secretariat of State. In fact many observers saw the appointment as a deliberate effort by the Pontiff to decrease the power of veteran operatives within the Secretariat of State, and Msgr. Ganswein’s mention of “dead branches” could be interpreted as a reference to those bureaucrats.

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