Shadow Pope Ratzinger and roommate Monsignor Georg Gänswein are The Vatican’s Morecambe and Wise (video)
FAREWELL Benedict XVI. Not that he’s going very fara way. He’s staying inside the Vatican, walking the corridors of power dressed in white robes and answering to the title “His Holiness”, a Pope Emeritus:
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Benedict himself had made the decision in consultation with others, settling on “Your Holiness Benedict XVI” and either emeritus pope or emeritus Roman pontiff. Lombardi said he didn’t know why Benedict had decided to drop his other main title: bishop of Rome.
Too low key. He doesn’t need it. But what he does need, apparently, is an aide:
Benedict’s trusted secretary, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, will be serving both pontiffs — living with Benedict at the monastery inside the Vatican and keeping his day job as prefect of the new pope’s household. Asked about the potential conflicts, Lombardi was defensive, saying the decisions had been clearly reasoned and were likely chosen for the sake of simplicity. “I believe it was well thought out,” he said.
Yeah. The new Pope has the olds Pope’s eyes and ears in his quarters. Still want the job?
Georg has appeared on the cover of Italian glossy magazines, one asking: “It’s no sin to be good looking.” Donatella Versace dedicated a menswear collection to him.
And what do His Holiness the Shadow Pope and Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, get up to? (Gaswein had “little juvenile romantic friendships” in his younger days growing up in Germany’s Black Forest. But he never did have a girlfriend.)
The pope’s day begins with the seven o’clock Mass, then he says prayers with his breviary, followed by a period of silent contemplation before our Lord. Then we have breakfast together, and so I begin the day’s work by going through the correspondence. Then I exchange ideas with the Holy Father, then I accompany him to the ‘Second Loggia’ for the private midday audiences. Then we have lunch together; after the meal we go for a little walk before taking a nap. In the afternoon I again take care of the correspondence. I take the most important stuff which needs his signature to the Holy Father.
When asked if he felt nervous in the presence of the Holy Father, Gänswein replied that he sometimes did and added: ‘But it is also true that the fact of meeting each other and being together on a daily basis creates a sense of “familiarity”, which makes you feel less nervous. But obviously I know who the Holy Father is and so I know how to behave appropriately. There are always some situations, however, when the heart beats a little stronger than usual.’
Reading that, you may see a homo-erotic love story. I see this: