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Pope Benedict’s aide acknowledges memoir criticism

Pope Benedict’s longtime secretary has admitted his revealing memoir has been criticized for casting Pope Francis in an unfavorable light

ROME — Pope Benedict’s longtime secretary admitted on Sunday that his revealing memoirs, published in the days after Benedict’s death, had been criticized for casting Pope Francis in an unfavorable light, but insisted that some of the controversies were more about prejudice than anything else. .

In some of his first public comments since the death of Benedict XVI on December 31, Archbishop Georg Gaenswin said he remained loyal to Francis and was still waiting for the pontiff to give him a new job.

Gaenswein’s future was the subject of much speculation following the death of Benedict XVI and the publication of “Nothing but the Truth: My Life Next to Pope Benedict XVI”. In the memoir, Gaenswein retraced his nearly 30 years of working with Benedict, but also settled old scores, revealed palace intrigues and detailed some of the bad blood that had accumulated over the decade that Benedict was. lived as a retired pope alongside Francis.

Published during the emotional period around Benedict’s funeral on January 5, the book came to encapsulate the conservative criticism leveled at Francis and his more progressive leanings by people nostalgic for Benedict’s doctrinaire papacy.

Speaking to Sky TG24 on Sunday after celebrating mass at a Rome-area church, Gaenswein acknowledged his book raised eyebrows both for its content and the timing of its publication.

“There are and there will be criticism,” he said. “And I have to live with the criticism.”

He said he welcomes well-founded criticism.

“If the criticisms are unfounded, but are criticisms based on prejudice or other unfounded grounds, I have to accept them, but I cannot take them seriously. The real criticism I accept and learn from,” he said.

He spoke to Sky at Santa Maria Consolatrice, which was Benedict’s titular church when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. After the mass, a plaque in honor of the late pope was unveiled.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Jan. 24, Francis responded to Gaenswein’s criticisms and those of other conservatives by saying they were natural after 10 years and proved that prelates felt free to speak.

ABC News

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