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Archbishop Gänswein: Pope Francis asked Benedict XVI to critique interview

March 19, 2014

In an interview with a German television station, Archbishop Georg Gänswein revealed that Pope Francis asked Pope Emeritus Benedict to critique his interview with Father Antonio Spadaro, the editor of the Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica.

Archbishop Gänswein serves as secretary to the Pope Emeritus while remaining Prefect of the Papal Household under Pope Francis.

After the interview was published in September, “the Pope gave it to me, telling me to take it to Pope Benedict, asking him to read it and write down any criticism he may have,” said Archbishop Gänswein. “So that’s what I did. Three days later he told me he had written four pages … [Pope Benedict] had written some thoughts and comments on certain statements and questions where he thinks some additional comment could be made in another context. Of course I am not saying what they were but they were certainly interesting!”

“The two Popes have a very good relationship,” Archbishop Gänswein added. “Clearly they are in accordance with regard to the substance. There is a marked and visible difference with regard to presentation, to gestures, in the way Pope Francis approaches people. It’s a difference that’s not worse or better, it’s simply a difference that suits his disposition. Each Pope brings his character to the papacy. A certain character is bestowed by grace, and if the Lord has given him this character, we can only say Deo gratias [thanks be to God].”


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