Pope Francis Writes Letter of Support to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI According to Personal Secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein
Pope Francis wrote a letter of support to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It is a very nice letter, said Archbishop Georg Gänswein (age 65), private secretary to the Pope Emeritus, in an interview with the Italian broadcaster Rai 1 (TG1) on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 in the evening.
In the letter, Francis speaks as a pastor, as a confrere and as a person who once again expresses his full trust, support and prayer. When asked about criticism of Benedict's most recent statement in the German media, Gänswein said: "Anyone who reads it honestly cannot share this criticism. He asks forgiveness for all victims of abuse." Likewise, the archbishop repeated that Joseph Ratzinger or Benedict XVI has done a lot in this "sensitive area". The letter from Pope Francis comes in light of a letter published by the Emeritus on February 8th regarding the Munich abuse report. (see Video below)
In it, the Pope Emeritus apologizes to those affected and expresses his "deep shame" and his "great pain". At the same time, the former Pope defends himself against the accusation that, as Archbishop of Munich (1977-1982), he actively covered up cases of abuse. The statement of the Pope Emeritus had caused different reactions. For example, the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, welcomed the statements in a short Twitter message without going into detail about the content. Victims of abuse reacted largely disappointed and accused Benedict, among other things, of little empathy on the subject of abuse.
In the Rai interview, Archbishop Gaenswein recalled that "on the occasion of the Via Crucis in 2005, Pope John Paul II asked Cardinal Ratzinger to write the meditations, it is the famous station where he talks about the dirt inside the Church. So there are steps, there are documents , there is evidence that Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict, has done a lot, a lot, a lot in this delicate area to carry out an internal cleansing in a suitable way ".