Thursday, December 19, 2013


This is a photo I snapped of  Archbishop Georg Gänswein after the Closing Mass of the Year of Faith at St. Peter's. I introduced myself to him as being from the Diocese of Savannah, to which he replied in perfect English, "in the United States!"

This is what Archbishop Georg Gänswein has said in an interview with a German magazine! He is the Head of the Papal Household for Pope Francis and thus works closely with him. I doubt that he would say anything that isn't true or not allowed for him to say of his immediate boss, the Pope! He also lives with Pope Benedict and is his secretary, thus making him the most fascinating man in the curia apart from the two popes themselves!

I copy this from the Praytell blog that published it first:

Austrian Religion.orfciting the January edition of Cicero, quotes Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household, as saying that Pope Francis will certainly not admit women to the diaconate. He considers this possibility “excluded.”

The longtime secretary of Pope Benedict XVI sharply criticized “many powerful interests” that wish usurp the new pope for their own interests. “But I scarcely believe that the pope will let his hand be forced by certain German initiatives in his pontificate.” (Several German dioceses have reported results of the synod questionnaire showing that even among engaged Catholics, Church teaching plays almost no role in their lives, with disagreement on some teachings extending to up to 90% of the faithful.)

For many who are now enthusiastic about Pope Francis, Gänswein predicted, “their jubilation will remain stuck in their throats.”

Archbishop Gänswein said that his work with Pope Francis is harmonious and trustful. But it is “clear that I was and am and will remain emotionally strongly attached to Pope Benedict emotionally.”

Gänswein does not expect to become a bishop in Germany. “In the naming of bishops in Freiburg, Cologne, Hamburg, the cathedral chapter elects from a three-name list presented by Rome. Therefore my chances of success are slim.”


Gene said...

Today, Francis also removed Burke from the Congregation of Saints. He is gradually neutering Burke, and I'll bet he'll do the same for other conservative/traditional Cardinals. I find no defense for this. How much lipstick can you put on a pig? This Papacy will be a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Who are you to judge?

Gene said...

I am not judging. I am expressing an opinion. Get a life.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

True, but an opinion that is baseless as any pope may appoint whoever he wants and rid himself of those he doesn't want. This is very orthodox and papal.

Gene said...

Yes, Fr., but who he appoints and dismisses is significant. Let's just wait and see…again, I pray that you are right and I am wrong.

Gene said...

I still maintain, as I always have, that the only way true Catholic identity will be restored is by focusing on a restoration of the dignity, awe, and Mystery of the Liturgy…and consistent catechesis regarding the Liturgy, sacramentals, the Holy Eucharist (and proper reception thereof). This Pope does not appear to be looking in that direction.

Theological axiom: You cannot start with man and get to God. Humanism is an empty promise. Obsessing about the poor and social causes is a bottom-up approach that remains horizontal, theologically tepid, and doctrinally sterile. This will fix nothing that is wrong in the Church, and is stupidly redundant because the Catholic Church has long been more concerned and giving to the poor than any other denomination or charity IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!! It is taking coals to Newcastle…which is quite possibly deliberately distractive, non-theological, and minimalist in terms of Catholic identity.

Jason said...

How far we have fallen when the simple fact that the Pope might actually uphold Sacred Tradition on who can or cannot receive the sacrament of Holy Orders is viewed as a BOMBSHELL.


John Nolan said...

Let's all get a reality check here. St Thomas More was prepared to go to the scaffold to uphold the primacy of the papacy, despite the fact that the pope was Clement VII, an absolute disaster. (Paul III, who succeeded him nine months before More's execution was also worldly, but at least it was he who called the Council of Trent).

Both these popes could (and did) give their bastard sons Curial appointments, but that did not change the principle for which More was prepared to give his life.

Throughout the reigns of JP II and B XVI liturgical abuses continued, despite the admonitions of the former and the example of the latter. The dreadful vomit-inducing parodies of the Mass perpetrated in LA (that's Los Angeles, not Liturgiam Authenticum) with bishops participating - had I not seen the video I would not have believed it possible - no doubt still continue.

Instead of whingeing, support the young priests who are upholding tradition. And in the case of Fr MacDonald, the not-so-young ones. Don't tolerate liturgical abuses. Boycott those churches that allow them, and have the added advantage of avoiding the occasion of sin. Learn to sing Gregorian Chant (there are plenty of courses around) and sing it at every possible opportunity. Apathy will get you nowhere. If it means forgoing your lunchtime pint to sing at a TLM at the graveyard slot of 3pm, then do it. On Xmas day I shall be getting up before 7am to sing at the dawn Mass (Lux Fulgebit) in a small rural church and then will motor to the London Oratory for the day Mass (Mozart, Coronation Mass) where I shall be able to able to relax a bit.

Whoever sits on the throne of Peter is likely to have a short tenure, and Pope Francis has just turned 77. And conservative/traditional cardinals are not necessarily of most use in Rome.

rcg said...

Gene, I agree with your points in the last post 100%. I agree with your position, but not so much your conclusion. The departure for Pope Francis from Pope Benedict is in the method employed. When B-XVI announced early on that the Church would have to get smaller before it could grow again I knew he understood people very well. I am concerned that PF wants to have as many people as possible coming to Church that he not only invites abuse, but creates disruption and distraction. I think he simply wants as many sinners as possible to come to God, through Christ and His Church. I think the result may be a cacophony that interferes with proper adoration. I also believe that many of the people who are corrupted, per FrAJMs previous citation from PF, simply want to be accepted with their sins intact as a form of open dissent.

Now I personally like what PF is doing to attract people to investigate and reengage, the Church. Yet I am still concerned that they will not benefit from the welcome if they understand him to have ignored their sins in addition to not judging them.

Anon friend said...

Yes, RCG, my take exactly...thanks.
I do worry at times that we are regressing to Pope John XXIII days (-oh, yeah, old enough to remember them well!), but we have to trust the Holy Spirit, not humans, to move us forward...

John Nolan said...

"Regressing to John XXIII days" Hmm, that would be 1958-1963, before everything went pear-shaped. Chance would be a fine thing.

rcg said...


I don't know about it being "before" everything went pear shaped. Westmoreland famously thought that he could defeat the enemy once they came out to meet him in battalions when it really meant he had already lost the hearts and minds of the people. It is difficult for me to imagine what happened was simply a mistake. After hearing John Carroll the other day I am more convinced than ever that what we know as Vatican II was already in the thoughts of many Catholics well before 1963.

My difference with Gene is that I believe that Pope Francis believes that the bishops and cardinals ca, and will, be redeemed in some manner; not that he is undermining anyone or plotting the destruction of Traditionalists. I think he is being naive because I have lost a lot of faith in human nature. It is both inspiring and terrifying to see this much older man with more faith in humanity than I have.

Gene said...

Placing faith in humanity is humanism…not to mention stupid.

Anon friend said...

Pope John XXIII was a much beloved "Pope of the common man", and Time Mag "Person of the Year" for 1962 (Jan. 4, 1963 issue). I remember those days so well! Strike any bells?
He was in office 3 months when he called for the Second Vatican Council. He wanted change and a new spirit of ecumenism for the Church. It was quite widely written about in the Northeastern secular media at the time, but our local parish priest didn't think it would amount to much...

John Nolan said...


Certainly, as soon as John XXIII announced he was summoning a Council progressive elements, backed by northern European bishops whose memories of 1939-45 were still fresh, saw their chance to cut the Roman Curia down to size. Most Catholics were taken by surprise at the speed of the changes. Westminster Cathedral's then director of music, Colin Mawby, recalls seeing an item in the Daily Telegraph in 1963 to the effect that vernacular languages might be allowed in the Mass, and immediately thought "it won't happen here [i.e. England]".

Sources close to Pope John claim that he was dismayed by the way the Council very quickly became a battleground between progressives and conservatives, but by this time he was terminally ill and knew that the Council would be automatically dissolved on his death. Paradoxically it was his successor, who had serious misgivings when John called the Council, who recalled it, and the rest is history.

The defeat of the 1968 Tet offensive was when the military advantage went to the US and ARVN forces, and opinion polls consistently showed that, outside the liberal media, support for the war in the US held up remarkably well. When I saw Jane Fonda posing on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun I hoped that on her return she would be tried for treason and if not executed, at least banged up for a long time.

rcg said...

And John, you summarize perfectly the concern: activists will use energy and persistence to hijack a forum for the exchange of ideas unless the owner of the forum allows and enforces the ideas to have equal exposure. The suppression of the older form of Mass and its associated Liturgy was a coordinated effort. I can recall being taught that the old form was no longer allowed. This shows the problem with education that does not use primary texts as source and was one of the reasons I made tracks to the local TLM parish when I could. I have no doubt that the people I trusted to teach Vatican II to me believed what they said, but they, or their instructors and trainers, had been lied to.

At this point we have the wonderful Fr MacDonald interpreting Pope Francis in a very positive light. It seems to be borne out with each new address from the Pope; yet the progressives are equally convinced the Church is now going to redistribute wealth, ignore homosexual marriage, contraception, and abortion. And if they don't get female lesbian bishops this pontificate, then, just as the Traditionalists are saying, this an old man and surely the next pope will set those things right.

The hearts and minds I referred to were those of the Vietnamese. It is the same mistake the Bushes made in Asia, and I am afraid Pope Francis may be making.

Here is a statement that I invite correction: Christ fed the masses on at least one occasion, blessing bread and fish, multiplying them with plenty to spare. I have no doubt there were numerous dedicated sinners in that bunch that he did not turn away and many were converted and earnestly tried to turn away from sin. Yet his eucharist, the Last Supper, was restricted to those who at least understood the reverence expected to be in His presence, although it was not yet revealed the full meaning and majesty of the Man. A small but not unimportant reason for this is that His teachings were too important on that day to be lost in crowd noise and needed to be focused for those ready to tame their own human desires long enough to hear them. Of course some rejected those teachings. But that choice was made by them, not for them, by an overwhelming din.

John Nolan said...


Your last paragraph is so axiomatically correct that no further comment is necessary.