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Without an office and reception – Gänswein comes to Freiburg – SWR Aktuell

Without an office and reception – Gänswein comes to Freiburg – SWR Aktuell

Archbishop Gänswein returns to Freiburg – without an office and without a grand reception. Other than that, there are still many unanswered questions about the former private secretary of Pope Benedict XVI.

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One thing is certain: Georg Ganswein, Archbishop of Curia and former private secretary to the late Pope Benedict XVI, is back in Freiburg. The Archdiocese of Freiburg does not want to give an exact date when the SWR will ask for it. “In the first week of July,” says Marc Modrak, a spokesman for the diocese. There are rumors in the city that Ganswein is already there. But there is no evidence for this. On the first Saturday of July, Ganswein will celebrate his priestly ordination in Bregenz on Lake Constance. So he is already around and no longer in Rome. The ordination to the priesthood will be broadcast live on the Internet.

There is no cool welcome for the returnees of Rome

It seems Gänswein’s arrival should be as inconspicuous as possible. “There will be no reception,” the diocese spokesman explained. Because: Gänswein comes without a desk – as a private one.

First residence: apartment on the estate

It had been known for some time that initially the “ordinary person” Ganswein would find accommodation: he would move into a 150-square-meter rented apartment at the seminary in the center of Freiburg. The Collegium Borromaeum is located near the Minster and is home to most of the students preparing for priestly ordination.

Gänswein will initially live in the bright building on the right of the photo. It is the “Collegium Borrumaeum”, the seminary in the center of Freiburg.


Resolutions about new tasks in July?

It remains unclear what tasks Gänswein will take on in the short or long term. “It is not very common for an Archbishop of Corrie to return to his home diocese,” says Diocese spokesman Modrak.

“It’s the first solution – how it goes later.”

Thomas Nonnmacher, a church expert and owner of an archaeological bookstore with church literature in Freiburg, confirms that Pope Francis has Ganswein on vacation – Freiburg can only be a stopover. “The fact that Gänswein is temporarily in Freiburg does not mean that he will not occupy a new office later,” says Nonnenmacher. He also sees staying in Freiburg without an office as a resting place for Gänswein, “for all the effort and strength he’s put into it”.

Freiburg on Gänswein

But in Freiburg, people also expect Georg Ganswein: “You just have to find a job for him,” says a passer-by. Another thought that Gänswein should act here in Freiburg, for example taking over the diocese. In July it may become clear how and where Gänswein will work. At the beginning of the month there should be talks between the diocese leadership and the Gänswein.

More links in the town of Riedern am Wald

View of Riedern am Wald - the church towers over the other houses in the village.  (photo: SWR)

Ganswein was born in Rieder am Wald (district of Walshut). He regularly celebrated Divine Liturgy in the church there.


During his time in Rome, Gänswein was always connected to his hometown of Riedern am Wald (Waldshut County). The people there were very surprised and surprised that Gänswein had returned to the diocese. “George has become, as we say here, Romanian. No one here would have thought he would come back,” says Mayor Albert Baumeister. In the 400-strong village, everyone knows each other. For example, 81-year-old Eckehard Planck has been a member of the local Catholic church for 42 years. He has known Gänswein since his youth and is glad he is back: “We always had a very close relationship, even though he was an archbishop and I was a private citizen.”

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