Francis usually visits Benedict before he travels

Before he goes on any international trip, Pope Francis usually pays a visit to his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

This is according to prefect of the pontifical household Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, who made the remark in an interview with the Austrian Catholic press agency.

Asked about the “two Popes”, Archbishop Gaenswein underscored that “there is only one Pope”.

The archbishop said he personally is acting as a “bridge” between Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus, given his double charge as prefect and personal secretary to Benedict XVI.

“I live with Benedict XVI, I regularly meet with him in the morning for meals and during the evenings  . . . so I work as a bridge, when Pope Francis and Benedict XVI want to exchange messages, give one a phone call to the other, or even want to meet.”

Said Archbishop Gaenswein, “Usually, Pope Francis pays a visit to Benedict XVI before every international trip.”

Archbishop Gaenswein also said that Pope Francis’ papal emphasis is in keeping with the speech Benedict XVI delivered in Freiberg on September, 2011.

In that speech, Benedict XVI addressed the Church’s tendency to “become self-satisfied, settle down in this world, becomes self-sufficient and adapt herself to the standards of the world”.

Benedict stressed that “not infrequently, the Church gives greater weight to organisation and institutionalisation than to her vocation to open towards God, her vocation to opening up to the world towards the other”.

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