KEEPS: "His Holiness", Archbishop Georg Gänswein, papal household, "Benedict XVI", use of Castel Gandolfo, Vatican apartments,
strings to the papacy
LOSES: ruby slippers, diamond-encrusted gold toilet flush, fisherman's ring, Swiss Guard, Twitter account
GAINS: "Pope Emeritus", relief at foisting off a lot of headaches to the next poor mensch
The life of a scandal-laden Pope Emeritus will not be easy for Benedict XVI, but he will manage, especially in the companionship department:
Vatican City, 14 February 2013 (VIS) - Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household and secretary to Benedict XVI, will continue to carry out both roles and will thus accompany the Pope during his stay at Castel Gandolfo and at the monastery that he will retire to after his resignation from the papacy. The papal household, or "memores", which has served the Holy Father during these past eight years will also move to the same monastery.
Ganswein will fare remains to be seen, for unless the monastery chosen by
Benedict is in Vatican City, the devoted, hunky secretary may have to shuttle
between jobs. Devotion has its price.
The relationship between the Pope and his secretary has long been a matter of speculation, especially in light of the latest Vatileaks revelation: a secret network of gay priests:
The priests, it seems, are allegedly being blackmailed by a network of male prostitutes who worked at a sauna in Rome's Quarto Miglio district, a health spa in the city center, and a private residence once entrusted to a prominent archbishop. The evidence reportedly includes compromising photos and videos of the prelates--sometimes caught on film in drag, and, in some cases, caught "in the act."
If His Holiness has had a long-term affair with his secretary, it is evident that only the next pope will know, for the contents of the 300-page dossier that supposedly led to Benedict's resignation holds many, many secrets. As one prelate put it, the dossier will be like "the 118th cardinal in the conclave." And the next pope may be sharing Benedict's "longtime companion." That will make for a cozy, tight-lipped arrangement.
Perks and Pedophiles
Surrounded by his faithful secretary and his staff, Benedict may still live in absolute luxury, pomp and circumstance: the papal "household" can be quite immense, involving scores of clergy and dignitaries:
The Papal Household or Pontifical
Domus Pontificalis), called until 1968 the Papal Court (Pontificalis Aula), consists of dignitaries who assist the Pope in carrying out particular ceremonies
of either a religious or a civil character.
It is organised into two bodies: the Papal Chapel (Cappella Pontificia), which assists the pope in his functions as spiritual head of the church, especially in religious ceremonies; and the Papal Family or Household (Familia Pontificia), which assists him as head of a juridical body with civil functions.
True, it may be scaled down a bit due to the advanced age of the pope and lessening of activities, but the fact remains that Benedict will be attended to by a "court" costing the Vatican million$ each year, a sum which can be used to pay off some of the many lawsuits going against the Church and its priests.
Quitting in comfort amid controversy is nothing new to prelates (many bishops and cardinals resign), but Benedict's resignation leaves so many questions that, as Betty Bowers put it,l he may truly be the Sarah Palin of Popes.