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Ganswein unbound.

In a new interview with German television, Archbishop Georg Ganswein broke a bit of news. First he revealed that Pope Francis asked his predecessor to comment on the text of the interview he gave to the world's Jesuit publications last summer. Francis had Ganswein -- who acts both as the prefect of the papal household and as personal secretary to Benedict XVI -- deliver the document to the retired pope, along with one blank sheet of paper on which to record his responses. "Three days later Benedict handed me four pages of reflections, notes, and supplements concerning certain questions -- things one might go into in more detail elsewhere -- most interesting -- but I’m not of course going to reveal them. I then took this booty back to the Pope," according to Ganswein. Remind me never to give that guy any private correspondence.

But Ganswein didn't stop there. In the same interview, he also mentioned that Francis was not his choice to succeed Benedict. "I had favored other candidates," he said. "I was wrong -- but then so were other people.” Pope Francis may be fawned over by the media, he continued, “but that won’t always be the case.” Sounds ominous. The pope is not “everybody’s darling," he added -- in English.

This isn't the first time Ganswein has popped off about the pope (the current pontiff, not the "hidden from the world" one).

Back in December he told a German paper that finding his new role under Francis makes him ache. “I have the impression that I live in two worlds.” And about Francis, he said, "I wait every day for another innovation, what will be different today.” Sounds disconcerting. Indeed, he even admitted that when Francis decided not to live in the papal aparments -- that is, the household Ganswein is prefect of -- he found it an "affront" (but apparently he and Francis joke about it now).

All of this has the deputy editor of the Tablet of London wondering whether it isn't time for Ganswein to go. "By stating that he would have preferred that someone other than Pope Francis had been elected to the Chair of Peter he has made his own position untenable," writes Elena Curti. She concludes:

Pope Francis has kept Gänswein at arm’s length by choosing to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae rather than Apostolic Palace where the Prefect of the Papal Household holds sway. Looked at with hindsight that was a wise decision.

It would be even better if Archbishop Gänswein were now to devote himself exclusively to serving the Pope Emeritus – or leave Rome altogether.

I understand why Curti finds Ganswein's gnomic, if not arch, comments problematic. It's more than strange that a member of the papal household is giving so many interviews. He's supposed to serve as a bridge between the pope and the ex-pope, but seems to be less than thrilled with the man who succeeded his favorite. (Although, hey, props for being willing to share his intermittent misgivings about the new sheriff in town.) And while I agree that Ganswein should have been assigned exclusively to Benedict's residence and not stay on at the papal household (where the pope doesn't live), I wonder whether he should be fired. It's not like Ganswein has any real power. But more important: is this how we want Francis to treat underlings? Sack them when they publicly express dissatisfaction with him? This is a pope who seeks advice from those who don't always agree with him. What kind of church would he be running if he dumped all the people who didn't meld minds with him? Probably not the kind he believes he was elected to lead.

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The man sounds as if he is a lost ball in the high grass.

Maybe he should tender his resignation as Prefect of the Papal Household and, as my father told me more than once about what I was doing for a living:  get a real job.

Soon-to-be canonized John XXIII once was fielding questions at a press opportunity when one earstwhile journalist asked:  "Holy Father, how many people work at the Vatican?"

Without missing a beat, Papa Giovanni replied:  "Oh, about half."

Ganswein has too much time on his hands.  But what else could he do?  All he knows is hanging around holding hands with B16 as they both thumb their beads.

Papa Francesco is soooooo smart in keeping "Bella Giorgio" on a short leash:  

Keep you friends close, and your enemies closer.

I don't know if there are any professional standards for positions like his (or even ecclesial ones) or some kind of job description. At any rate, at a minimum, I would think that confidentiality would rank in any of them. That is pretty standard in most positions of this type.

It seems to me that he has violated confidentiality and probably some ethical guidelines that should be in place.

Bottom line is that he should be made accountable for that. Yes, by all means, speak to the press but he should not be revealing details.

I think it was kind of refreshing that he said  the Pope wasn't his first choice, but that he turned out to be mistaken.  I don't see what's so objectionable about that either. 

"Keep you friends close, and your enemies closer."  The same thought came to my mind yet I think that Pope Francis is also somehow showing a certain deference to Pope Benedict.

Ganswein has a website, not done by him but obviously by a fan. Google it and see if it blows your mind as much as it does mine. It's weird. Razinger and other members of the hierarchy have websites but nothing like this.

Genswein should be much more discrete. When Benedict who ordained him bishop (archbishop, mind you) just two months before he announced his renunciation of the papal office (or what ever it is called) it should have been a red flag.  Most popes do that close to their death.

Can you imagine any staff members close to Queen Elizabeth's staff giving interviews?  Off with their heads.

When Pope Benedict goes to his eternal reward, where will Archbishop Ganswein be?  Hmm...

I have some recommendations... .

George D. --

What?  You're not defending the Archbishop Ganswein's transparency?    Sure, some things need to be confidential, but for all we know Benedict told George to talk about what he had written.  The comments weren't the sort of thing I'd call a State secret.  I just hope Benedict doesn't retain too much influence, though Francis strikes me as an even stronger personality than Benedict, and probably (I hope) he won't let himself be dominated.

It also seems to me that Francis is very wise to let it be seen that he really does want to hear from all sides.  And what harm can George do?  He doesn't strike me as the brightest bulb, even if he is the best looking.  Seems to be quite a sincere person, and I'm sure both Benedict and Francis welcome his honesty.    

Apb. Gänswein certainly knows Vaocan protocol regarding the Pope.  For him to say the things he has said about Pope Francis is very puzzling indeed.  I have to wonder if he isn't trying to get the Pope to fire him.  His comments seem to be so provocative.  But Pope Francis really doesnot need him, after all he has his own personal secretary. Apb. Gänswein is Prefect of the papal household, but what is his prefecture, an empty Apostolic Palace.  The papal household has moved to the Casa Sanctae Martae.  I don't think it even has a prefect.  So the apb. has been reduced to dusting off the papal china and changing the Bishop of Rome Emeritus' Depends. He sounds like he is unhappy (after all he was the gatekeeper for the previous pontiff -- a very powerful position) and is kind of lashing out.  But I don't think Pope Francis will fire him because he has him just  where he wants him.  The archbishop knows this and sees no advancment on the horizon.  Don't expect him to be getting a red hat.  He actually has a lot to be uhappy about.  I imagine Pope Francis smiles when he his name comes up.

Shouldn't archbishops have sees? If they don't lead archdioceses, what are they doing that makes them archbishops?

Grant, you ask "is this how we want Francis to treat underlings? Sack them when they publicly express dissatisfaction with him?" 

But that is completely beside the point. You don't seem to see that this situation of having two popes is ideal for creating a schism. It is especially a concern when the two popes in question are as different as these two, and so different in the following they inspire. Yes, I mean that. All you need to do is have a steady stream of leaks about what Pope Benedict is "really" thinking... and people who USE their position to further their interests (and make themselves important) by putting words in Benedict's mouth... to create serious trouble when push comes to shove. We're in a new situation with two popes. It's absolutely serious that the man closest to Benedict is giving these interviews.

It is already the case that the partisans of a certain program in the church saw Benedict as their great hope, and they are tearing their hair out with Francis. Read Rorate Caeli, read any number of these outlets. Here's a little taste of the hysterical pitch they are reaching; this is from Rorate. After praising the days under Benedict, they say:

Now, instead, we are under the worst of both worlds: a newly-founded disorganized Inquisition that burns the wheat in the fields, while cockle grows strong even on the rock. Liberal pseudo-Inquisitors who use the rod to spank the sheep while the beasts feast on the flock. Complete silence is coming, and with it only the howling of the wolves at the darkest hour.

They are not alone.

Gaenswein, meanwhile, is insinuating more than he says. He is pouring a little more fuel on the fire every time he gives an interview. As the presumed mouthpiece of Benedict, he gets in a little criticism of Francis here and there, and you can bet your bottom dollar he is being read as a reflection of his boss. An ominous prediction from someone "in the know" is poison, and even if he only wants to make himself important he should be made to stop.

This is poison. He's not an employee, some underling. He's a pot stirrer who is in the position of speaking for the "other" pope. 

 

It was Pope Francis who asked for Benedict's comments on the interview. Perhaps he did this out of courtesy; perhaps he was genuinely interested in Benedict's opinion. In any case, it seems clear the Francis does not hold the low opinion of Benedict that many on this thread do. 

"All he knows is hanging around holding hands with B16 as they both thumb their beads." That's malicious. 

And so is this: "So the apb. has been reduced to dusting off the papal china and changing the Bishop of Rome Emeritus' Depends." 

Some crazy people were sure that Benedict was on their side and are now sure that Francis is an antipope, if not an anti-Christ. So what? There are also a lot of noncrazy people who, while not denying the important differences between the two popes and maybe preferring one to the other, admire them both—and take Francis's stated admiration for Benedict at face value.

I feel a nit sorry for him, though I don't like him.  This is reminiscent of time of monarchies, when one king would be deposed by another and the former king's  favorite would losr all his power and would usually then be done away with.  We really need to reform the governance of the church!  ;)

I am happy that pope Francis tolerates other voices. Like Irene, I find it refreshing. Maybe airing one's differences will help the church be less divided. I trust Benedict to prevent a schism. He loves the church, he loves unity, he's smart, and he would never participate in a schism. After spending so much effort to try to bring the Lefebvrists back into the catholic church, it would paradoxical for him to go off and start his own schismatic movement!

Tom Blackburn, I suspect Ganswein has a so-called "titular see", i.e., generally a long-lost diocese.  For example, when Bishop Maloney in Louisville retired as auxiliary, the pope later made him bishop of the titular see of Bardstown, KY, which was established as a new diocese on April 8, 1808, the same date that Rome set up the sees of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.  However, the Bardstown bishop --- Bendict Flaget ---  moved his HQ to Louisvlle in late 1841, and Louisville thus became the replacement see.

Wikipedia has an entry for *Titular see*.  More history about the Louisville archdiocese may be found at http://archlou.org/history

Titular Bishop of Urbs Salvia in the Macerata province, Italy.

 

I agree with Rita Ferrone. If he is not being seditious he is making a joke of the Church. 

Joseph J and Joseph S. O'L., I know about titular bishops. I just think they are silly. It's as if the president were to give the title of ambassador to defunct countries to all the go-fers working in and around the Oval Office. Most of the titulars do jobs a lay woman or man could do -- better, and with a lot less maintenance.

Ann:

Yes, there should be transparency and absolutely senior leaders can and should be giving interviews. But even in the secular realm, you want to be careful of the implications of some revelations. For example, Benedict providing four sheets of notes to Francis concerning an interview.  That leaves the impression that Ratzinger is the L'Eminence grise. Even if half true, you don't want to leave, as a secretary, that impression. Just say that they correspond and chat regularly.

Just think how private people close to the two familes were around the close friendship between between Clinton and George W. Bush (that's W and not just his dad!).

Thanks to Matthew Boudway for labeling the quoted comments as "malicious." It is deeply saddening that some who admire Pope Francis and celebrate his pronouncements could be so deaf to his call for evangelical zeal and joy. In what way do they differ from those bloggers they purport to deprecate?

Maybe it's time for Benedict to desist from advising the Pope and withdraw from public view as he seemd to promise when he resigned.

@ Robert Imbelli and Matthew Boudway:  Give it a break.  There are pictures all over European internet sites picturing B16 and Ganswein sitting in the papal gardens holding hands while reciting their rosary.  Just Google it.

Don't you hold hands and thumb your beads with your personal secretary and home health aide, all the time?  Don't you send your BFF out to the press to denigrate your successor, all the time?

If you think that B16 emeritus and Ganswein are full of "evangelical zeal and joy," knock yourself out.  It's pretty obvious to the rest of the world that they are whinning in public about their lost fortunes.

Just to clarify, in my Tablet blog I didn't call for Archbishop Ganswein to be sacked. My view is that in the light of his remarks he should reconsider his position. I would hope that he would then voluntarily resign as Prefect to the Papal Household and either serve solely as the Pope Emeritus's private secretary or leave Rome. 

While I am certainly not ocmparing my position to the Papal household, I have had the experience of serving in the administration of a mayor of a moderate sized city.  I was also asked to stay on in a new adminsitration, and was there when my former boss was elected to the City council.  It was a tricky situation at times, but my view was and is that you owe your loyalty first and foremost to the guy who is in charge now.  You need to have his confidence and his back at least in public.  One thing I know is that if I had made comparable comments to those made by Archbishop Ganswein, I would have lasted about as long as it took my boss to read them.  If you can't gived your loyalty to the new guy, you really ought to just go away.  It isn't a case of by the way of "tolerating other voices." To me this is a case of trying to undermine Pope Francis publicly.  There is a huge difference.

Uh-oh: The titular see of Urbs Salvia is a town that Dante describes in Paradiso XVI, 73-78 as decadent and that was the reason for its end.

I know an auxiliary bishop, now deceased, whose titular see was in Tunisia.  He said: “I understand that there is nothing there but a couple of goats and palm trees.”

Jim,

Where does Ganswein "denigrate" Francis? Not anywhere in the remarks Grant is discussing.

And how exactly do you know that Benedict "sent him out" to make these remarks? 

"It's pretty obvious to the rest of the world that they are whinning [sic] in public about their lost fortunes." Every part of this sentence is nonsense. No one is whining in public, there are no lost fortunes, and the "rest of the world" is pure bluff. If you have to speak here, please speak only for yourself.

George D. --

If the Clintons and Dubya were close, then that is indeed a matter of public interest and should be said publicly.  At the moment Hillary seems to be the next Democratic candidate for President, and if she is indeed a friend of Dubya's, then I'll think three times before voting for her.  I have always thought that she is on the quite conservative side for a Democrat (she was raised Republican), and though I have some conservative leanings in some ways, they don't match hers.  

For instance, yes, she values diplomacy over war, but she'd be more likely to go to war than I would hope.  For another, she doesn't really seem to really listen to all sides in a debate.  Too sure of her own opinions.

But that's a topic for another thread (but it's coming soon, I dare say :-) 

Maybe we are all learning that the Vattican might not be the the most important, and  holy place in Christianity.

Since Benedict and Ganswein are both German and my  being from NYC,  I suggest it  just might be nationalism raising its ugly head again.  )-:

Well Matthew ...

Ganswein is communicating in the rarefied Vatican-speak employed exclusively by Roman courtiers during close-in knife-fighting that requires you to smile all the while you slip the stiletto in between the ribs. 

What do you think all those internal correspondence from the pope's guy at the Vatican bank that found its way into the Italian press - sourced from inside the "papal household" - were all about just before B16 felt he needed to "retire" to a convent within the Vatican, Far From the Madding Crowd?

Why do you think that Vatican Secretary-General Carlo Vigano was "exiled" so abruptly to the US as papal nuncio?  Because Ratzinger felt he needed "seasoning" in Washington?  Or, maybe because he needed to get Carlo out of Rome until it cooled down? 

What do you think the butler-stooge Paolo Gabriele was leaking to the press in those papers he found lying around the papal apartment?  Thank-you notes to Vatican courtiers from "Little Joseph"?

"Nonsense"???  Really?  You think so?  Matthew, you really should get out of that head-up-your-a _ s parade that frequently processes down the main aisle in most Catholic churches these days. 

I'm not speaking for anyone but myself.  I'm just hoping and praying that you Matthew wake-up from Ratzinger's "Catholic-Dream-of-Life."

Matthew, 

While Jim J may get outrageous at times, it is clear that he is not the only one who feels this way on this blog. There are a number. . If you have an ounce of political sense you know that Ganswein overstepped his bounds. Francis may keep him around for now. He will be more and more isolated. 

Benedict was or is a control freak (though incapable for that very reason of the effective control a good leader should exercise). Control freaks cannot let go. It is up to Francis to prise his clutching fingers off the barque of Peter.

Control freaks cannot let go

You still cannot believe that he resigned, do you?

Re: Pope Benedict 's ability to control things

Archbishop Ganswein was appointed bishop with title of archbishop and prefect of the Pontifical Household -December, 2012, a little more than two months before Pope Benedict resigned. Seems to me it was Benedict’s intent to take care of his secretary. (Ganswein said that he was aware of Benedict’s intention to resign for some time and tried to dissuade him.) And what about renovations of the contemplative convent that had been taking place from November 2012, several months before the resignation. Huh?

Didn’t any Vatican Inside Observers put 2 and 2 together?  

Francis had Ganswein -- who acts both as the prefect of the papal household and as personal secretary to Benedict XVI -- deliver the document to the retired pope, along with one blank sheet of paper on which to record his responses.

That line -- with its "one blank sheet of paper" -- from Grant's blog distracted me all through Mass this morning. Is it possible that a lifelong scholar and an author who has had as many published thoughts as Andrew Greeley doesn't have stashes of paper all over his apartment? Are they rationing paper in the Vatican? Or just to Benedict? Has he become a compulsive doodler, and was Ganswein tring to break him of the habit? Or was Francis trying (and failing) to signal Benedict to keep it down to one page? Or is it all simply a case of a bad translation or slip of Ganswein's tongue?

The mystery of sending one blank sheet of paper to a Herr Prof. Dr. Dr. Pope Emeritus is driving me batty.

 

 

I believe Ganswein did overstep the mark this time, but the idea insinuated by some (Looking at you, Ann) and explicitly put out by others that Benedict is behind it all is utter tosh. Anyway, in the most recent picture I have seen of Benedict (Today), he now uses a wheelchair. Coming up to 87, I am sure he is plotting to roll right in and take back his power. Look into his eyes; you can see the fierce determination to overthrow Francis.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2584709/Tired-looking-Pope-Emeri...
 

If Ganswein had a modicum of integrity he would resign from his non-existent job and get a real one.  The idea that an archbishop is just sitting around with a nothing job on one hand and whatever he is doing with and for Benedict on the other is just one more example of clericalism gone mad.

Either put him to work in something vaguely resembling the role of an Archbishop or put him out to pasture somewhere OUTSIDE of the confines of the Vatican.

David --

Until you wrote it, the idea never even crossed my mind that Benedict might be behind Ganswein's interview.  Benedict so obviously wanted to leave (proven by his action) that I don't see how anyone would think he wants his power back. I also truly believe in listening to all sides, so I say Yay to Francis for asking for Benedict's opinions.  (Notice, however, that Francis asked *after* he had spoken with Spadaro, not before.)

 

About the one sheet of paper ==  the Moynihan Report clears that up.  The blank page referred to was a blank page after the index of the magazine.  It gives a translation of the whole interview, or a lot of it.  

 

Letter #48: Old Age - The Moynihan Letters

 

The mysterious "four pages of reflections, notes, and supplements concerning certain questions"  might have been 50% constructive criticism and 50% compliments.  More than a single page would be required for all the positive remarks.  Of course, no one here knows.  But the less that is known, the more fantastic is the speculation.

@ Bill Mazzella:  "Outrageous"?  Actually, I was going more for acid satire.  I'll keep trying.

Thanks for acknowledging that I'm not some lonely voice crying in the wilderness.

Does Ganswein speak English?  Doesn't Chicago still need a new archbishop?  On second thought, as long as B16 is still among the living, I suspect that Ganswein will keep his room(s) over at the convent.

Shades of Lion in Winter where Queen Eleanor was let out of her prison castle tower only for state occasions and holidays.  

It probably galls Benedict that Hans Kung was right and he was wrong. Francis is doing all those things Kung clamored for and more. Benedict gave up because he really reached the Peter Priniciple. No pun intended. I do believe Benedict is a good person who chose the wrong horse. Not exactly like choosing the Nook over the Kindle. Many could identify with Benedict as they soured seeing some of the excesses of Vatican II. Credit Francis. He knows how to implement V2 and make it look like Restoration. 

Benedict does get credit for exposing Maciel. JPII would not do it. 

Ann, if it did not cross your mind that Benedict was behind putting that information out there, why did you post the following: "But for all we know Benedict told George to talk about what he had written. The comments weren't the sort of thing I'd call a State secret. I just hope Benedict doesn't retain too much influence". We know he would not, for the same reason that he did not wish to pray in the same spot with the Pope when they met at Castel Gandolfo, until Pope Francis cajoled him into it.

And Margaret, the way you put, you would think Benedict volunteered to review the text of the Pope's interview. I am sure he would much rather have continued his reading than attend to Papal activites again. Benedict really is between a rock and a hard place.

Bill, Benedict retired because he knew his physical health was in decline and that it would be risky for him to fly to Brazil and spend a week there going up and down, left and right, meeting people and affecting a lively look among the youth. He only just about pulled that trick off in Madrid in 2011. And what exactly was Hans Kung right about? None of what Kung really wishes for will come to pass. Anyone who knows even a little about him knows that he wants changes in doctrine more than anything else. Minor changes, yes, but significant nonetheless. What is currently being discussed, whether the divorced and civilly remarried should be allowed to receive communion, even that will fail at the final hurdle. I would actually be pleased to see those concerned being readmitted to the Sacrament, but I cannot see how a change can be squared with the teaching of the Church over 2000 years. The idea of a penitential period appears attractive and seems promising, but even Cardinal Sean is not wholly convinced by it, which signals to be that it is going to run into trouble among many of the other Cardinals. I will be very happy if Pope Francis does implement what is left of Vatican II.

 

Ann, What's at the end of that link to the Moynihan report is from March a year ago.

David --

To say that Benedict "was behind" the interview implies that Benedict was the one who suggested that Ganswein participate in an interview in the first place.  But there is nothing in what we know of its initiation that implies that it was Benedict's idea in the first place.  I just think that maybe Ganswein might have asked Benedict's permision to speak his own mind, and Benedict might have said OK, go ahead.  One thing I'm quite sure of is that Ganswein is in the habit of asking Benedict's permission.

Not yet remarked upon is the most galling statement of the interview:

Dinner is at 8.30 pm and usually we end the day by watching the Italian equivalent of the German “tagesschau” which is called “telegiornale” [the evening news show] – twice as long but half the news value unfortunately!

Sheer Teutonic effrontery -- even if true!

"Benedict does get credit for exposing Maciel. JPII would not do it."

But then Benedict pushed the canonization—canonization!—of the pope who was the tireless patron, relentlessly praising, promoting, and indirectly enriching the criminal Maciel.

With all effort to look at some of Benedict's actions in the most charitable light, I find myself appalled by such things as:

  • saddling his successor with his favorite, making sure that he had his most intimate contact within the papal household: it's hard to see this as anything but conniving on his part and to see the prefect's function as anything other than a spy reporting back to his master
  • naming himself Pope Emeritus, a novel title that makes himself out to be some kind of pope, and continuing to wear the white cassock, etc. that the world associates with a pope who is exercising his unique ministry
  • making his favorite, a person with no scholarly or pastoral qualifications, an archbishop just at the last minute 

It really is difficult to see these actions as honorable even in the minimal sense that we might demand in the business world. It is difficult to see the relationship between the resigned pope and his constant companion as anything but corrupt. I respect very much about the former pope and defended him far longer than many of my friends found tolerable, but he is clearly enchanted with a nonentity who makes him look like a foolish, if cunning, old man.

About the question of how to handle those who disagree with you, but from whom you might still learn -- there are lessons to be gathered from Doris Kearn Goodwin's Team of Rivals, about how Lincoln chose his cabinet members and worked with them, effectively if not always easily.

Of course Lincoln was working in a system a good deal less hierarchical than Rome, and in which everyone had a certain amount of accountability downwards as well as upwards, which is certainly not the case (yet) in Rome.

About the question of how to handle those who disagree with you, but from whom you might still learn -- there are lessons to be gathered from Doris Kearn Goodwin's Team of Rivals, about how Lincoln chose his cabinet members and worked with them, effectively if not always easily.

Of course Lincoln was working in a system a good deal less hierarchical than Rome, and in which everyone had a certain amount of accountability downwards as well as upwards, which is certainly not the case (yet) in Rome.

Sorry for the double posting, but the page gave me confusing instructions.

Roger Evans

Re Pope Benedict

"making his favorite, a person with no scholarly or pastoral qualifications, an archbishop just at the last minute."

How many archbishops have scholarly or pastoral qualifications?

In my opinion, the astute Pope Francis knows exactly how to handle Ganswein, who probably has played Pope Benedict like a fiddle for a long time.

Hi Helen,

There have been men of considerable brilliance and ability who hold or have held the title of archbishop. Think of Christoph Schoenborn, Basil Hume or Joseph Bernardin, the many great bishops of the Council, or even those who toiled in the administration such as Annibale Bugnini, Piero Marini, or Michael Fitzgerald (this is off the top of my head). To argue that Pope Benedict ought to have chosen, or had to have chosen, a person with neither ability nor humility because there are just none to be had, is absurd. There are always second-rate people around, true, and an argument can be made that John Paul II promoted men for loyalty and avoided brilliance as too risky, but that's no argument for Benedict, who took big risks elsewhere and seemed always to prize brilliance. Those who observe that other qualifications were uppermost in this selection and promotion are on pretty firm ground.

I agree with you that Pope Francis is unlikely to be fooled by or manipulated by Gaenswein. 

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