Monday, July 08, 2024

Archbishop Gänswein: owes the Pope reverence and obedience

According to a newspaper report, Archbishop Georg Gänswein considers the tensions between him and Pope Francis to be resolved. 

"What needed to be clarified factually has been neatly resolved," the former private secretary of the late Pope Benedict XVI told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Saturday). 

"Pope Francis is the successor of Peter, to whom I owe reverence and obedience," emphasised Gänswein. 

He explained: "It is necessary to speak of 'so-called' disagreements, because these were mainly created by interested parties and artificially kept alive." Now it is important, "to say it with St Paul: I no longer look back, but look to what lies ahead."

Francis appointed Gänswein as the Holy See's ambassador to the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia at the end of June. 

The apostolic nuncio is based in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. The 67-year-old did not go through the diplomatic academy at the Vatican. 

Gänswein was a close companion of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI until his death in 2022. 

As private secretary, Gänswein accompanied Ratzinger for 19 years, even before he was elected Pope in 2005. 

Shortly before his resignation in 2013, Benedict XVI also appointed Gänswein Archbishop and Prefect of the Pontifical Household. 

Gänswein initially held this office under Pope Francis, who relieved him of these duties at the beginning of 2020.

This was preceded by an internal dispute over the publication of a book on celibacy, the co-editor of which was incorrectly named as Pope Emeritus Benedict. 

Shortly after Benedict's death on 31 December 2022, Pope Francis and Gänswein fell out again when the latter published a book entitled "Nothing but the Truth", which, among other things, deals with conflicts between Pope Francis and his predecessor.  

In July last year, Francis then relieved Gänswein of all Vatican duties and sent him to his home diocese of Freiburg without permanent responsibility.