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Church News

Pope demotes head of household after claims he was involved in critical book on Pontiff

by Ruth Sax

Pope demotes head of household after claims he was involved in critical book on Pontiff 

Pope Francis appears to have suspended the prefect of the papal household, Archbishop Georg Gänswein.

However there was confusion over whether the Vatican was actually confirming or denying the report in the German newspaper, Die Tagespost, which said: "The Pope Emeritus' private secretary remains in office as head of the Prefecture responsible for the procedure of the Pope's public audiences but has been released from his duties in order to be able to devote more of his time to Benedict XVI."

There are reports that Pope Francis has stripped the head of his household of key duties after claims that he was involved in a book co-written by Benedict.

The Archbishop of Urbs Salvia, the Most Rev Georg Gänswein, who also serves as secretary to Benedict, has not been seen at Francis's side at a public audience since 15th January and has been absent from meetings between Francis and world leaders since 20th January.

Archbishop Gänswein was said to have helped with a book last month called From the Depths of Our Hearts, which was co-authored by Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Vatican's liturgy office.

The book, published in January, defended priestly celibacy, which was seen as a criticism of Pope Francis who is considering allowing married priests in the Amazon. 

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