Msgr. Gänswein’s Comments on Benedict XVI in a German Newspaper

Source: FSSPX News

Journalist Guido Horst interviewed Msgr. Georg Gänswein, Benedict XVI's private secretary for many years, on behalf of the newspaper Die Tagespost. The interview was conducted in German, but English subtitles are available. It lasts a little over half an hour.

We will return in this small report only on one point. It concerns the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. This passage begins at 23mn 18s of the recording.

The editor of the German Catholic newspaper asks Msgr. Gänswein, “As Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI was able to follow the promulgation of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. Was he disappointed?”

The prelate's answer is a bit mixed, because he seems to say that he knows the result it produced: “It hit him quite hard.” But he adds a nuance: “I believe that this was a wound to the heart of Pope Benedict.” But the “I believe” nuance leaves little room for doubt as to the effect the document produced on the deceased pope.

The rest of the answer is no less interesting. It gives restates Benedict XVI's intention with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum: “Because his intention had been to help those who had simply found a home in the old Mass to find an interior peace, in order to distance them from Lefebvre.”

Msgr. Gänswein has no hesitation in expressing this intention. He reports it as he heard it expressed by the author of the motu proprio.

The prelate then develops his thoughts on the traditional Mass, explaining that it had been the “source of spiritual life” for many people for centuries, “the food of many saints.” He could not therefore imagine “that it is something that is no longer good.” And, he confesses that “taking that treasure away from people, well, I can't say I'm comfortable with that.”

It must be recognized that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was an opportunity for many people to discover or rediscover the traditional Mass and to become attached to it.