Serving two popes a challenge: Archbishop Ganswein

Servant of two masters

Pope Francis has said and done things that have surprised the world but to label his actions a "revolution" is a "frivolous slogan," said Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to retired Pope Benedict XVI.

- Catholic News Service/NCR

"Certainly, some of Pope Francis' gestures and initiatives have surprised and will continue to surprise, but it's normal for a change of pontificate to bring changes on various levels," the archbishop said in an interview published on Tuesday in the Rome newspaper Il Messaggero.

As for personnel changes, the 57-year-old German archbishop said: "This isn't a revolution, it's simply an act of governance and responsibility."

Ganswein said he was surprised by the appointment of eight cardinals to a commission to advise the pope and help plan a reform of the Roman Curia, but cardinals are supposed to be the pope's closest advisers.

"I admit, I'm curious to see what will come out of it," he said.

Asked what Pope Francis means when he speaks of wanting a church that is poor, Ganswein said: "I'm trying to understand more and more what that means. One thing is clear to me: the expression 'poor church' is a central theme" in the papacy of Pope Francis.

"It is not a sociological expression, but a theological one," the archbishop said. "At the center is Christ who is poor and everything follows from that. Without a doubt it touches on the lifestyle of every Christian and requires special attention to the suffering, the sick and those who are poor in the literal sense."

FULL STORY Serving two popes a challenge: Archbishop Ganswein

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