Pope Benedict lived the faith he taught, says Archbishop Gänswein – Detroit Catholic

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Archbishop Georg Gänswein, right, who was private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, talks with Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, as people pay their respects at the body of Pope Benedict in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 4, 2023. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The person closest to Pope Benedict XVI for the past two and a half years said the most important thing about him was that “the faith he learned, taught and proclaimed was the faith he lived.”

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the long-time personal secretary to the late pope and the person closest to him after the death in July 2020 of the pope’s brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, spoke to L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper Jan. 4.

He was at Pope Benedict’s side when he died Dec. 31 at the age of 95, almost 10 years after he renounced the papacy saying he no longer had the energy to fulfill the papal ministry.

As the retired pope weakened, he said, “we usually prayed lauds in front of his bed. That morning, I said to the Holy Father, ‘Let’s do like we did yesterday. I will pray out loud and you join us spiritually.’ He could no longer pray out loud. He did not have the breath.”

After the prayer, he said, at about 8 a.m., the pope’s breathing became very labored, and the pope’s doctors told the archbishop he should call the members of the household — the consecrated women of Memores Domini, who ran the house, and Sister Birgit Wansing, his private secretary.

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Pope Benedict lived the faith he taught, says Archbishop Gänswein – Detroit Catholic

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