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Archbishop Gänswein ordered to leave Rome?

June 02, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has told Archbishop Georg Gänswein that he must leave Rome, according to a German newspaper report.

The former secretary to the late Pope Benedict XVI has not been given a new pastoral assignment, but has been instructed to return to the Freiburg diocese, where he was ordained, according to the report.

Neither the Vatican nor the German archbishop has commented on the report.

Archbishop Gänswein met with Pope Francis in a private audience on May 19. Although the Vatican did not disclose the topics discussed at that meeting, it was generally understood that the Pope spoke with the German archbishop about a new assignment. The two had met earlier, in January, shortly after the death of Pope Benedict. In April, an Argentine journalist who had interviewed the Pontiff reported: “Francis reminded Gänswein that all the private secretaries of the popes had returned to their dioceses when the Pope died.”

On paper, Archbishop Gänswein still has a Vatican assignment, as Prefect of the Pontifical Household. But in 2020, after a brief uproar over a book in which the Pope-emeritus and Cardinal Robert Sarah defended clerical celibacy, Pope Francis instructed Gänswein to devote all his energy to the care of Pope Benedict—effectively dismissing him from the Pontifical Household. So he is, at the comparatively young age of 66, effectively a prelate without portfolio.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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