January 4, 2013
(Romereports.com) He's often seen walking next to Benedict XVI. His name is Georg Gaenswein, the Pope's personal secretary and a newly appointed bishop.
The 56 year old
was born in southern Germany, in the small town of
Ühlingen-Birkendorf, where he was known as a great athlete, who at one
point taught skiing lessons. He was also an aviator and a postman.
He was ordained back in 1984. His first assignment was as an assistant parish priest in Germany.
MSGR. GEORG GAENSWEIN
Benedict XVI's Personal Secretary
been a priest for 28 years now. After my ordination, I was sent to a
parish in a German town in the Black Forest. That's actually where I'm
from and it's located on the border with France.”
In 1993, after completing his doctorate in Canon Law in the city of Munich,
he moved to Rome. Two years later, in 1995 he started working at the
Vatican, at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of
the Sacraments. A year later, he started working at the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith, where Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was Prefect.
In 2003, the Cardinal and future Pope made Gaenswein his personal secretary, which continued when Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005.
Aside from always accompanying the Pope, he was recently named the Prefect of the Papal Household, which means he helps organize the Pope's daily schedule.
Since that job is part of the Holy See's hierarchy, the Prefect of the Papal Household, should be a bishop. So to fulfill that requirement, he will be ordained a bishop by Benedict XVI on January 6th.
that title, he will hold the titular see of the small Italian town of
Urbisaglia, whose patron saint is actually St. George. That diocese did
exist at one point, but now only its title remains. Usually it's granted
to bishops within the Roman Curia.
After 18 years at the Vatican, Gaenswein's appointment is yet another sign of the confidence, Benedict XVI has in him.