Msgr. Georg Gänswein, 66, former personal secretary to Benedict XVI, and prefect of the Pontifical Household “thanked” by Francis in February 2020, has published, with the help of journalist Saverio Gaeta, a book entitled Nothing But the Truth, published by Piemme.
On January 10, 2023, the Vaticanist of Le Figaro Jean-Marie Guénois wrote: "There follow [in this book] real pages of history which help to revisit little-known springs of the personality of Benedict XVI, and lines dictated by the bitterness, where Bishop Gänswein proceeds to settling personal scores.”
He points out, in fact, a clear "need to justify himself": "Georg Gänswein, on certain sensitive files, such as the Vatileaks affair - documents stolen from his desk by the butler Paolo Gabriele, and published in the press - feels the imperious need to prove that he has not failed in his mission, even if it means questioning high personalities.
“This enterprise of personal justification could be the weakness of these 336 pages, the reading of which requires, for this reason, a form of caution.”
This reservation made, the French journalist considers that “the book remains no less fascinating. He sees in it “interesting insights into the distance taken by the pope emeritus with the encyclical Amoris laetitia, dealing with the reception of remarried divorcees.
“Without Francis accepting debates on the subject, to the great astonishment of Benedict XVI. Divergences also on homosexual people, not so much on their pastoral reception as on the issue of the acceptance or not of the “theory of gender.” But, in the eyes of Jean-Marie Guénois, “the piece of choice, of general interest for the Church, is a stone thrown in the court of Pope Francis on the question of the liturgy.
"This chapter is called 'The Interrupted Pacification.' According to the author, the current pope would not have consulted or informed his predecessor that he was canceling, in July 2021, one of the major reforms of the pontificate of Benedict XVI: the possibility of celebrating the mass according to the rite of Saint Pius. V, as an “extraordinary” rite in the Church. That is to say alongside the “ordinary” rite defined by Paul VI at the end of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). This rupture between the two popes has never been expressed so clearly as in this work.”
And the French journalist underlined: “In the accompanying letter to the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, of July 16, 2021, Francis nevertheless assured that his decision joined the “intention” of Benedict XVI, suggesting that he had been associated with the scuttling of its own flagship reform, published by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007.
"What his former secretary, Gänswein strongly rejects: he affirms that the pope emeritus "discovered" the publication of this decree of Pope Francis the same day, July 16, 2021, "by leafing through L'Osservatore romano", the daily newspaper of the Holy See.