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Intervju med erkebiskop Georg Gänswein

Oppdatert: 20. feb.

Andreas Thonhauser, byråsjef for EWTN Vatikanet og god venn av St Rita Radio har gjort et intervju med erkebiskop Georg Gänswein. Se og les intervjuet her!



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Andreas Thonhauser

EWTN Vatican Bureau Chief

Original German

"Your Excellency, you are the private secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. How is he doing now? And how has he reacted to the abuse report and also the subsequent media reports?"


Archbishop Georg Gänswein

Personal Secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Original German

“This morning we celebrated Mass together, like every day. Then we prayed Lauds and had breakfast. And then he went about his business, and I am here now. He is doing well, the pressure was lifted, thank God, after his letter had been published together with the fact check.


Andreas Thonhauser

EWTN Vatican Bureau Chief

Original German

"In his most recent letter, Benedict XVI asked the victims of sexual abuse for forgiveness, but at the same time rejected all concrete accusations against him. This is now perceived by many as a contradiction. How does this fit together?"


Archbishop Georg Gänswein

Personal Secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Original German

“You know the story; a mistake was made after the publication of the Munich report. But it was not a mistake on Pope Benedict´s part, as he himself indicated in his letter. The fact check explains how it happened. It was an oversight that unfortunately happened. It should not have happened. But it did happen. I can still remember when we reviewed the statement he sent to the law firm, during the last "question/answer" session, he said: “That meeting, the famous one, on January 15, 1980, I don't remember. But if it says that I was absent, then this absence is proven – or was proven back then - because of a document of the meeting. And that's where the mistake happened. “So if it says I was absent, I accept it. I don't remember.” I said: “Holy Father, it's in the digital files we just checked, so we can assume that it is true.” It was not checked again, not at all, until the end. It only came up again when the report was presented and one of the experts said: we have the proof here, Benedict was present and not absent. I was shocked, and the others were shocked, too. And then we checked again. And indeed, there had been a mix-up. I told Pope Benedict, and he said: “We have to say immediately that it was a mistake on our part”. It was not intentional, so it was not a lie – lies happen on purpose -; it was a mistake. “We have to say this as soon as possible,” he insisted.


Andreas Thonhauser

EWTN Vatican Bureau Chief

Original German

"About this mistake, if you allow me to put it into the context. The abuse report had around a thousand pages (note: there were almost 2,000 pages). Pope Benedict received a catalogue of questions before the report was published. Including thousands of pages of documents, if I understand it correctly, they had to be looked over. And on the basis of this work, an 82-page rebuttal was then written, where precisely this error you mentioned happened. However the abuse case was not discuss in this meeting and this is also documented. But that's something that you wouldn’t heard in the media so far. Right?”


Archbishop Georg Gänswein

Personal Secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Original German

“Allow me to give you some background. Pope Benedict was asked whether he would be willing to participate in this report. He said: “I have nothing to hide, I'll gladly do it.” He then received about 20 pages of questions and was informed that he would of course have the possibility to consult the documentation on the basis of which the questions had been compiled. Pope Benedict answered that, because of his age, he would not be able to travel to Munich, being thus not in a position to go to the Archbishop's Ordinariate in order to consult the archive files. It was then suggested that this could also be done digitally. But since Pope Benedict is not familiar with the new computer world, the digital world, I suggested he commission a professor, Professor Mückl from Rome, as has now been made known, whom I know very well and appreciate: he is a lawyer and a canonist and a very good theologian. He also had to sign a declaration of confidentiality for the diocese and the law firm, stating that he will accept the task and, of course, remain silent. That's what he did - and then he was presented with 8,000 pages of digital records. He couldn't copy and paste. So he had to do what he did when he was a student: he had to take notes. And that's an incredible mass of information...”

“The information about the digital format was not given right from the start, but only upon request. And he worked his way through it. And then, of course, everything was put in a logical sequence with regard to the questions. Then the consultants or the staff drew up a first draft. And Benedict had a look at it. And in this first draft, the confusion, the mistake, was already there. No one noted the mistake, none of the four collaborators, nor me nor Pope Benedict. It was as I said before: when he asked me: “Is it true that I was not present?”... Yes, that's what it says, that's what the files say. And that was the mistake. Well, then things went ahead. The statement was mailed, the 82 pages written by the consultants, which Benedict regularly proofread, making also some changes and improving things. And in the end, it was 82 pages. And then there was criticism: it’s too juridical, not Benedict's voice at all, they said. But to legal

questions, which are often quite complicated and written in a somewhat “wavy” language – if I might put it like that –, one can only answer using the same language.”


Andreas Thonhauser

EWTN Vatican Bureau Chief

Original German

“Almost 500 cases were documented in this report. Pope Benedict has been faulted for mishandling four cases. … Regarding one of this cases there was a meeting taking place more than 40 years ago in the Archdiocese and that is where all of this fall out, ultimately has been about. Now the pope’s letter was recently published It was a very personal one and it contained also by a more legal response that was proved that all allegations were wrong, but the letter’s emotional tone and in there Pope apologised to all of the victims on behalf of the Church. Now many media representatives interpreted it as if he especially apologised for concrete case, but that is not correct right?”


Archbishop Georg Gänswein

Personal Secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Original German

“Before I answer your question, I would like to come back to the infamous meeting. The protocol of the meeting reads: present, archbishop Cardinal Ratzinger; the then-Vicar General was not present. He was absent. The Personnel Responsible had received a request from a diocese in Germany, asking whether a priest coming to Munich for a certain period of time for treatment would be allowed to stay in a rectory in Munich. That was the subject of the meeting. The request made by the diocese was accepted. We will name a priest or a parish priest in whose rectory he can stay, it was said. It was not about content at all. That is, it was only about whether this request should be accepted or not. And Cardinal Ratzinger, who was present, naturally agreed: of course, if we can help, we will help. What later happened, a cooperation here, a cooperation there, was beyond his knowledge. At the time, that was not discussed at all. Also, the reason for the therapy, that it was possibly a paedophile priest, was never mentioned. There's no mention of that in the protocol. The claim that he knew about it, that he protected him and covered it up, is simply a lie. And I must say quite frankly: that is an insinuation. It is simply not true. You have to know the facts as they are, and also accept the facts as they are. And then I can interpret them. But I can't put the cart before the horse. I simply can't. That is an insinuation. And that ultimately takes away the moral credibility of Pope Benedict, and then he can no longer defend himself.”


Andreas Thonhauser

EWTN Vatican Bureau Chief

Original German

“Excellency, thank you very much for this conversation.”

Archbishop Georg Gänswein

Personal Secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Original German

“Thank you for having me.”





Daniel Ibez/CNA

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