Ganswein talks about serving two popes

Pope Francis talks with Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household, during a general audience in June.

CNS PHOTO | PAUL HARING

Pope Francis talks with Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household, during a general audience in June.

November 4, 2013

Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to retired Pope Benedict XVI, said it’s a challenge serving two popes.

“Nevertheless, with a bit of common sense, I do my best. I put into practice Pope Francis’ words: Never close yourself off and don’t be afraid,” he said in an interview published Oct. 22 in the Rome newspaper Il Messaggero.

As well as serving Pope Francis, Ganswein lives with retired Pope Benedict and has been his personal secretary since 2003.

The 86-year-old retired pope “is well,” Ganswein said. “He prays, reads, listens to music, dedicates himself to his correspondence, which is a lot, and receives visitors.

“Every day we walk together in the woods behind the monastery (where they live), reciting the rosary.”