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Pope's private secretary will remain, despite rumors, Vatican-watcher reports

November 26, 2012

Msgr. Georg Ganswein will remain in his post as private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, despite rumors of a shake-up in the staff of the apostolic palace, according to Sandro Magister of L’Espresso.

Speculation about imminent changes in the Pope’s immediate staff were triggered in October, with the announcement that Archbishop (now Cardinal) James Harvey, the longtime prefect of the pontifical household, would become archpriest of the Vatican basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. Some Vatican-watchers suggested that Msgr. Ganswein would become the new prefect, while others said that he might leave the Vatican entirely, as part of an overhaul following the “Vatileaks” scandal. Neither change will take place, Magister reports; Msgr. Ganswein will remain at the Pope’s side.

(The Vatican has made no announcements about changes in the pontifical household, apart from the new assignment for Cardinal Harvey.)

A few changes in office procedures have been made, however, Magister reports. The Pope’s new valet, Sandro Mariotti, no longer has desk space in the office reserved for the Pope’s priest-secretaries. The previous valet, Paolo Gabriele, apparently took advantage of his desk’s location to pilfer confidential papal correspondence.

Also, Magister reports that Ingrid Stampa—a longtime aide to the Pope, whose name arose in speculation about other Vatican officials who might have been involved in the “Vatileaks” scandal—no longer has free access to the offices of the Pope’s private staff.


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