VATICAN CITY (CBS) – Pope Benedict will see out his retirement accompanied by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, his private secretary and current head of the Papal Household, the Vatican announced on Thursday, February 14.
“The second question about Monsignor Georg, I can say that he will follow Pope
Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told
“Also, after the renunciation (resignation), he will be with him in Castel
Gandolfo and also in the new residence. But he will conserve the title and
function of ‘Prefect of the Papal Household’, I think, and in the future it is
in the hands of God.”
Ganswein, who has been Benedict’s personal secretary since the former cardinal
was elected Roman Catholic leader in 2005, was elevated to the rank of
archbishop earlier this month.
A German like the pope, he was also promoted to the job of Prefect of the
Pontifical Household. The Italian media dubbed him ‘Gorgeous George’ as he has
appeared on the cover of the Vanity Fair magazine.
After February 28, when the pope becomes the first pontiff in nearly 700 years
to resign instead of ruling for life, Benedict will first go to the papal
summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, before moving permanently
into the four-story Mater Ecclesiae convent, in the gardens behind St. Peter’s
The Vatican, which is navigating uncharted waters since Benedict’s shock
announcement, sid experts have still not decided what his title will be or
whether he will wear the white of a pope, the red of a cardinal or the black
of an ordinary priest.
“Benedict XVI is a title that cannot be renounced. It is his name as the Pope,
that he is known by all the Church and all the world, officially for eight
years,” Lombardi said.
“Certainly, we can still say Benedict XVI as his name, this doesn’t change, it
cannot change evidentially. Now, although when we meet him and we greet him
we’ll have to see what we say – do we say ‘Your Holiness Benedict XVI’ ? No,
probably not, we’ll have to call him what we are going to be advised.”
Pope Benedict’s next public appointment will be on Sunday (February 17) when
he will recite the Angelus Prayer from his window overlooking St. Peter’s