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Georg Gänswein

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Georg Gänswein
Msgr. Gänswein and Pope Benedict XVI
Born July 30, 1956 (1956-07-30) (age 60)
Riedern am Wald, Germany
Nationality German
Other names "Padre Georg"
"Bel Giorgio"
Education Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Doctor of Canon Law)
Occupation Priest
Personal secretary of Pope Benedict XVI
Religion Roman Catholic

Reverend Monsignor Georg Gänswein,Doctor of Canon Law (born July 30, 1956 in Riedern am Wald, Waldshut, Baden-Württemberg) is a German priest of the Roman Catholic Church, and the personal secretary of Pope Benedict XVI.

Known to Italians as "Padre Georg" or, due to his handsome looks, "Bel Giorgio" ("Beautiful George"), Gänswein was born in a small town in Germany and ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1984. Upon his ordination, Gänswein dedicated himself to rigorous academic activities. He received his doctorate in canon law at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in 1993, and arrived in Rome in 1995 as an official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In 1996, Gänswein was invited by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to join the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After being appointed to Cardinal Ratzinger's staff, Gänswein became professor of canon law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. In 2000, Gänswein was elevated by Pope John Paul II to Chaplain of His Holiness. He replaced Josef Clemens as Ratzinger's secretary in 2003, upon Clemens's appointment to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Ratzinger was elected to the papacy in 2005, and a year later he named his secretary a Prelate of His Holiness. It was suggested that Gänswein was to replace the aging Cardinal Friedrich Wetter as the new Archbishop of Munich and Freising. However, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Reinhard Marx as the new archbishop in November 2007.

In his private life, Gänswein devotes his time to playing tennis, skiing, and flying airplanes.

In an interview in July 2006, he described the Pope's day: "The Pope's day begins with Mass at 7am, followed by morning prayer and a period of contemplation. Afterwards we eat breakfast together, and my day then begins with sorting through the correspondence, which arrives in considerable quantity." He said that he accompanied Benedict to morning audiences, followed by lunch together, a "short walk," and a rest, after which he "[presents] to the Pope documents which require his signature, or his study and approval."[1]


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