After falling out with him, Pope gives new job to Benedict's ex-aide


  • World
  • Monday, 24 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Archbishop Georg Gaenswein pays homage to former Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, January 2, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has given a new job to the former secretary of the late Pope Benedict XVI, in an apparent sign of reconciliation with the prelate after publicly falling out with him.

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, 67, was appointed "nuncio", or Vatican ambassador, to Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, a statement from the Vatican press office said on Monday.

In June 2023, Francis had ordered Gaenswein to leave the Vatican and return to his native Germany without any new assignment, in what was widely seen as a snub.

In a book published this year, Francis confirmed he had a difficult relationship with Gaenswein while the German served as Benedict's aide.

He mentioned in particular the memoir that the archbishop released just after Benedict's burial in January 2023, which contained strong criticism of Francis.

"To publish a book that lays into me on the day of the funeral, telling things that are not true, is very sad," Francis said.

Francis and Benedict both lived at the Vatican during the so-called "two popes" period, initiated in 2013 when Benedict resigned, the first pontiff to do so in about 600 years.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini, editing by Keith Weir)

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