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Election of Pope Benedict in 2005 was outcome of 'dramatic struggle,' says Archbishop Gänswein

May 23, 2016

The longtime personal secretary to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has spoken of a "dramatic struggle" at the conclave of 2005, and insisted that the former Pontiff did not resign because of the "Vatileaks" scandal.

Speaking at the launch of a book about Pope Benedict, Archbishop Georg Gänswein-- who continues to act as secretary to the retired Pontiff, while also serving as prefect of the pontifical household-- said that the "Vatileaks" scandal had "little or nothing" to do with the Pontiff's decision to resign. He said that Benedict XVI was motivated by his realization that he was growing weaker. By resigning, Archbishop Gänswein said, Benedict expanded the understanding of the papal office; making it possible to have one "active" Pontiff and another "contemplative" at the same time.

Commenting on a book by Italian author Roberto Regoli, the German archbishop said that the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 was "the outcome of a battle," which the author had described. The struggle pitted supporters of then-Cardinal Ratzinger against the "St. Gallen group" that included Cardinals Godfried Danneels, Achille Silvestrini, and Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. 


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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - May. 24, 2016 1:54 PM ET USA

    Seems to me that is an astonishing event. Certainly it set up the current Pope for election just as all the rumors and talk have indicated. That sounds like a decade long outrageous disregard for some Canon or other that forbids such plotting under pain of excommunication. Instead some of the apparent ringleaders are actively involved in trying to change the Church. If I am wrong, please, someone correct me.