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Archbishop Gänswein, ‘redistributed’ out of the picture

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 06, 2020

The Prefect of the Pontifical Household is no longer functioning as the Prefect of the Pontifical Household. But that doesn’t mean that Archbishop Gänswein has been removed from his post, the Vatican press office assures us; it’s just “an ordinary redistribution of the various commitments and duties of the prefect of the papal household.” So now the Prefect of the Pontifical Household is functioning solely as private secretary to the retired Pope. Since he has been acting in that role already for several years now, it’s hard to see how his responsibilities have been redistributed. But it’s easy to see that he’s been moved out of the apostolic palace, and out of the limelight. And it’s virtually impossible for a competent reporter not to see that this move occurred right after Archbishop Gänswein played an awkward central role in a messy controversy over the publication of a book— a book about which the Vatican has offered no comment whatsoever. No public comment, that is; no comment for the record.

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Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: tdkovich3345 - Feb. 11, 2020 10:00 PM ET USA

    The Church has a purpose–to produce saints for the Kingdom of God. The Unity of the Church is secondary to its primary purpose –ushering in the Kingdom – inspiring people to give up doing their own will in order to do God’s will. Pope St. John Paul famously told a guest that Mother Theresa had more power than he did in this endeavor of inspiring saints. There are a core of liberals who have their own ideas of what the Church should be about. They want to repurpose (read “new paradigm”) the Church for their various and sundry purposes. They feel threatened by Pope Benedict who gained power by stepping down from the chair of St Peter. It’s just one of those paradoxes inherent into the Pascal Mystery by which God's Kingdom has been coming about these many years. But then, who would predict that a man who died a public criminal could usher in the Kingdom of God in the first place. Somebody once said that God stepped down to raise up a Kingdom.

  • Posted by: kv.70262800 - Feb. 07, 2020 9:23 PM ET USA

    But where is Archbishop Gänswein now ??

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Feb. 06, 2020 2:54 PM ET USA

    Arch. Ganswein tried to make everybody happy and ended up making nobody happy. Apparently one of the ones he did not make happy was Pope Francis. Thus, he appears to have gone the way of cardinals Burke and Muller, under the bus.