Sunday, June 12, 2005

Georg the Taskmaster

I said the other day that Georg Ganswein was more than just a pretty face, right?

According to the Washington Times:

Nearly two months after Pope Benedict XVI's election to St. Peter's throne, his charismatic personal secretary is spearheading the German pontiff's consolidation of power in the Curia, the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, sources in the Holy See say....

During [a] purported spat [between Georg and Josef Clemens], Father Gaenswein went so far as to decline to give Father Clemens his cell-phone number, effectively restricting [Clemens'] access to Cardinal Ratzinger, Rome's left-leaning L'Espresso magazine reported. But after the cardinal became leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, his two aides said, "Let's forget everything," Corriere della Sera reported.

As German influence in his tiny city state has increased, Benedict has moved to break up what Italian newspapers called the powerful "Polish clan" of clerics from John Paul's homeland.

Well, if Polish mafia is out, that means that Stanislaw Rylko goes back to Warsaw and Clemens takes the top job at Laity, with the red hat.... Two birds, one stone.

The article loses its policy lede to trumpet the Italians' new national obsession:

"Benedict's new secretary is simply beautiful," gushed a female reporter for the normally staid La Stampa of Turin newspaper. "He is the best news to come out of
the Vatican."

Born in the Black Forest town of Waldshut, Germany, Father Gaenswein "is 48 years old, but seems younger," Corriere della Sera wrote. "He plays tennis and also is a skier. Legend has it that at a very young age he was a ski instructor."

This isn't an infatuation confined to the Italian press.... Rome's gay community, I'm told, is on the bandwagon, too.

If there's an upside to all this bliss, it's that, 22 years after The Thorn Birds, Richard Chamberlain has finally been replaced as the reigning matinee-idol cleric....



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