The “family” that lives with Benedict XVI

The Vatican

The Vatican

On the nine loyal individuals who have access to His Holiness’s private apartments

From Vatican Insider

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican city

During the long recovery period that followed the assassination attempt on John Paul II, the papal apartment became inaccessible and reserved to the Pope’s “tight circle” of fellow-countrymen: His right hand man, Fr. Stanislao, his childhood friend Wanda Poltawska and a group of Polish nuns.

Today, the papal apartment acts mostly as a think tank, where the Pope as theologian and pastor puts together his Magisterium. Following the renovation work that took place in 2005 on the top floor, huge attics were turned into small apartments. They house the Pope’s personal secretary, Mgr. Gaenswein, the four “Memores Domini”, Loredana, Carmela, Cristina and Rossella and the Pope’s brother, Fr. Georg, crape master and former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir. An upright piano has been placed in a corner of his private study, between the shelves that hold his library’s 20 thousand plus books. The circle of people that has access to Benedict XVI’s house is very tight. Within this circle, the most delicate tasks are entrusted to two secretaries: Ganswein and the Maltese priest Fr. Alfred Xuereb. The “Memores” serve in the crape, the kitchens, in the archive and in the secretariat. Birgit is often around for writing up texts.

The layman who is closet to the Pope is “Paoletto”, the Pope’s butler, who is suspected of being the mole behind the Vatican leaks scandal. He was very close to the Pope and is a member of the so-called papal family. Right from the early hours of the morning, the papal butler would enter the Pope’s bedroom to help him get dressed and participate in the private mass celebrated by the Pope in the papal apartment’s chapel. Gabriele then accompanied the Pope to his various daily meetings, including public and private audiences. One of his tasks was to serve the Pope al lunch and sometimes he would even sit at Benedict XVI’s table and eat with him. In the evening he prepared the Pope’s bedroom and took his leave when Joseph Ratzinger retired to his study. He also accompanied the Pope on his journeys. Given the nature of his role, he had access to all “keys” to some of the world’s most secret doors, staircases and lifts.

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2 Responses to The “family” that lives with Benedict XVI

  1. Archbishop Vigano is the hero in this scandal, I’m very proud of him. Unfortunately he is no longer in Vatican City in the capacity he once was, but it is certainly our gain here in the United States.


  2. toadspittle says:


    Toad’s initial suspicion – that “Paoletto” is the fall guy here – is not diminished a smidgeon by this story. A cardinal, eh? Red hat, red hand? We shall see.

    Although the “story” itself is obviously a total fabrication, concocted by the cabal of Reds, Jews, and Masons, who run the “media,” with the simple and vicious intention of persecuting the Poor Old Pope.
    Same as the alleged “stories” of the kidnapped girl and the Vatican police, and “The Legion of Christ.”

    (Like everything mildly unflattering that ever appears on screen or in print, in fact.)


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