The secretary of Benedict XVI: My day with the pope
Mgr Georg GĂ¤nswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, answered the questions put to him by Radio Vatican on August 8. â€śThe day of the pope,â€ť he said, â€śbegins at 7:00 am with Mass. Follow the recitation of the breviary, and a period of silent adoration before the Lord. Then, we take our breakfast together, and I begin the dayâ€™s work with the preparation of the mail, I peruse the letters which arrive every day in great number.â€ť â€śA time of exchangeâ€ť with the pope is scheduled before I accompany him to the second loggia of the apostolic palace for the private audiences at midday. â€śThen we have lunch together. After the meal we go for a short walk before the siesta. In the afternoon, I take care of the mail again, I bring to the Holy Father what is most important and demands his signature, his advice or his agreement,â€ť he added. Called to work at the side of Benedict XVI, Mgr Georg GĂ¤nswein is keen on â€śbeing worthy of the popeâ€™s trustâ€ť.
Mgr Georg GĂ¤nswein was born on July 30, 1956 near Waldshut (Germany). He studied in Fribourg-in-Brisgau, in Rome, and in Munich where he obtained a doctorate in Canon Law. In 1984, he was ordained a priest in Rome, at the age of 28. Adviser of the archbishop of Fribourg-in-Brisgau, he was called to the Vatican in 1995. Appointed secretary to Mgr Josef Clemens â€“ himself secretary to Cardinal Ratzinger â€“ at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was consecrated a bishop in the year 2000. When Mgr Clemens was promoted secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Mgr GĂ¤nswein took his place as secretary to Cardinal Ratzinger. Once elected pope, Benedict XVI again called upon him.
During the radio interview, Mgr GĂ¤nswein affirmed that he was finding his â€śrootsâ€ť in his family, in Germany. Besides, he said that his major fault was the â€ślack of patienceâ€ť, and his main virtue â€śtenacityâ€ť. He spoke about his youth when he used to play the clarinet in an orchestra and football, his favorite sport.
Mgr GĂ¤nswein celebrated his fiftieth birthday in the gardens of the Summer pontifical palace of Castel Gandolfo on July 30 last.