The German weekly Die Zeit has published the news that the Pope wants the former personal secretary of Benedict XVI far away from the Vatican.
According to German media, Archbishop Georg Gänswein has to move out of the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, Benedict XVI’s retreat house, on February 1. According to Die Zeit, Father Georg was informed of the date of his expulsion from the Vatican residence on the same day as the funeral of the Pope Emeritus in a letter personally signed by Pope Francis.
On Monday, the Holy See Press Office announced that the Pope received Gänswein in private audience. Although the content of that conversation is unknown, several media outlets report that the archbishop was recalled earlier Saturday by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Pope Francis. Thus, rumors that the criticism of the Pope’s ‘gossip’ during Sunday’s Angelus was directed at Ratzinger’s former personal secretary are gaining even more strength.
It is normal and understandable that Gänswein’s book did not sit well within the Sacred Palaces, but what does not seem normal either – and even less so from a Pope who should adopt a paternal attitude – is to communicate to the archbishop that he must leave what has been his home until now on the same day of the funeral of his spiritual ‘father’. Another decision of Francis, and not of his close circles but of the Pope himself, which does not go well with the synodal proclamations of mercy and compassion to which we are so accustomed. But all this has an explanation.
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