Benedict died Saturday at age 95 and his physique was placed on show Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica forward of a Thursday funeral to be celebrated by his successor, Pope Francis.
Gaenswein, a 66-year-old German priest, stood by Benedict’s facet for almost three a long time, first as an official working for then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Religion, then beginning in 2003 as Ratzinger’s private secretary.
Gaenswein adopted his boss to the Apostolic Palace as secretary when Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005. And in one of the vital memorable pictures of Benedict’s closing day as pope Feb. 28, 2013, Gaenswein wept as he accompanied Benedict by way of the frescoed halls of the Vatican, saying goodbye.
He remained Benedict’s gatekeeper, confidant and protector throughout a decade-long retirement, whereas additionally serving till just lately because the prefect of Francis’ papal family. It was Gaenswein who carried out the anointing of the sick final Wednesday, when Benedict’s well being deteriorated, and it was he who known as Francis on Saturday to inform him that Benedict had died.
In keeping with Piemme, Gaenswein’s e-book comprises “a personal testimony about the greatness of a mild man, a fine scholar, a cardinal and a pope who made the history of our time.” However it stated the e-book additionally contained a first-hand account that might appropriate some “misunderstood” features of the preach in addition to the machinations of the Vatican.
“Today, after the death of the pope emeritus, the time has come for the current prefect of the papal household to tell his own truth about the blatant calumnies and dark maneuvers that have tried in vain to cast shadows on the German pontiff’s magisterium and actions,” the press launch stated.
Gaenswein’s account would “finally make known the true face of one of the greatest protagonists of recent decades, too often unjustly denigrated by critics as ‘Panzerkardinal’ or ‘God’s Rottweiler,’” it stated, referring to some widespread media nicknames for the German identified for his conservative, doctrinaire bent.
Particularly, the writer stated Gaenswein would tackle the “Vatileaks” scandal, by which Benedict’s personal butler leaked his private correspondence to a journalist, in addition to clergy intercourse abuse scandals and one of many enduring mysteries of the Vatican, the 1983 disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican worker, Emanuela Orlandi.
The e-book seems to be simply half of what’s shaping up as a postmortem media blitz by Gaenswein, together with the discharge Monday of excerpts of a prolonged interview he granted Italian state RAI tv final month that’s to be broadcast Thursday after the funeral.
In keeping with the excerpts revealed by La Repubblica newspaper, Gaenswein recounted how he tried to dissuade Benedict from resigning after the then-pope informed him in late September 2012 that he had made up his thoughts. That was six months after Benedict took a nighttime fall throughout a go to to Mexico and decided he now not might deal with the trials of the job.
“He told me: ‘You can imagine I have thought long and hard about this, I’ve reflected, I’ve prayed, I’ve struggled. And now I’m communicating to you that a decision has been taken, it’s not up for discussion,’” Gaenswein recalled Benedict saying.
Gaenswein additionally referred to the struggles, scandals and issues Benedict confronted throughout his eight-year preach, recalling he had requested for prayers initially to guard him from the “wolves” who had been out to get him. Gaenswein cited specifically the “Vatileaks” betrayal, which resulted within the butler being convicted by the Vatican tribunal, solely to be pardoned by the pope two months earlier than his resignation.
“Anyone who thinks there can be a calm papacy has got the wrong profession,” he stated.