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Archbishop Gänswein says Pope is “a mystery to me”

August 04, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who for years has been private secretary to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, revealed that he asked Pope Francis for guidance in December 2020, after a furor arose over the publication of a book in which the former Pontiff, along with Cardinal Robert Sarah, strongly defended priestly celibacy. Archbishop Gänswein was criticized for his role in the book’s appearance, and Pope Francis directed him to spend more time with Benedict—essentially exiling him from his role as prefect of the pontifical household. Archbishop Gänswein, not unreasonably, sees that exile as a punishment; but Pope Francis denies that. “Francis is and remains a mystery to me,” the German prelate says.

The archbishop also revealed that he was caught off guard when Pope Benedict resigned, even though he was the Pontiff’s closest aide. he said that he tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade Pope Benedict not to resign.

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