Bishop Gänswein. Photo: Worldcrunch

Benedict XVI’s Former Secretary Is Already in His New Residence, but Has Ministerial Limitations

Monsignor Georg Gänswein has his residence at the headquarters of the archdiocesan seminary, an apartment of about 140 meters in the same house where he studied to become a priest.

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Joachin Meisner Hertz

(ZENIT News / Freiburg, 07.19.2023).- Since July 12, Benedict XVI’s personal secretary is in Fribourg, the German diocese to which Pope Francis sent him, without any post, after working for years at the service of the Holy See, despite being a Bishop and being of an age (66 years) in which he can continue in active service, hence, in the exercise of the Episcopal Ministry. The papal expulsion order of Vatican City prescribed that Monsignor Georg Gänswein had to leave the small city-state by July 1.

Monsignor Gänswein’s current residence is in the headquarters of the Archdiocesan Seminary. He has an apartment of some 140 meters in the same house where he studied to be a priest. 

On Monday, July 17, the Archdiocese of Fribourg published a press release clarifying that Monsignor Gänswein “will not take up an office or a fixed and permanent post in the Archdiocese”:

The Archbishop of Fribourg, Stephan Burger, met with the Archbishop, Dr Georg Gänswein, to hold talks after his return to the Archdiocese of Fribourg. As the Archdiocese announced on Monday, Dr Gänswein will not take up an office in the Archdiocesan Ordinariate or a fixed and permanent post in the Archdiocese. It is possible that, prior to consultation with Archbishop Burger, he will take up individual requests, such as Confirmations or local festive services. Moreover, Dr Gänswein will preside regularly over the offices in the Cathedral of Fribourg as Honorary Canon beginning in the autumn.” 

In an interview with the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera on Sunday, July 16, Monsignor Gänswein said: “I arrived four days ago; it’s too early to say how this new life will be. I’ve yet to understand what I’m going to do.” However, he did have something clear (which he also said to the newspaper): “I will not work permanently for the Archdiocese of Fribourg.”

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