“The Pope’s birthday will be a family celebration”
The Pope’s Secretary, Mgr. Gaenswein, has revealed that there will be no solemn celebration on the occasion of the Pope’s 85th birthday on Monday. Instead it will be a “very Bavarian” dayvatican insider staffrome
“There will be no solemn celebrations in the Vatican for the Pope’s birthday. Instead, it will be a family celebration. “I do not want any big celebrations please,” the Pope himself said to us collaborators.” This was revealed exclusively to Italian weekly magazine Gente on sale 16 April, by Mgr. Georg Gaenswein, Benedict XVI’s private secretary. On 16 April the Pope will celebrate his 85th birthday and three days later, on 19 April, he will begin his eighth year as Peter’s successor.
“16 April is a Monday, a normal working day and he never interrupts his daily routine. It will however be a very Bavarian day,” Mgr. Gaenswein added. The Pope dedicated his book Benedict XVI – Famous figures write about the Pope - in which twenty VIP’s give personal descriptions of the Pope - to Mgr. Gaenswein.
Fr. Georg also revealed a few little secrets about life with the Pope, a fellow countryman: “He is a Pope who reflects on the meaning of his words. His simplicity, sincerity and courage have often been misunderstood. Perhaps because he is not afraid to call a mistake by its name. But he has always shown sensitivity and respect in his day-to-day relations with others. Including me. He has never said to me: “That’s not right: you are wrong.” Instead he says: “This could be done like this or like that.” Though the essence of these criticisms is serious, they are expressed in a delicate and seraphic manner.”
According to his secretary, Benedict XVI does not appear to be concerned by the image the media paint of him, a picture of a cold and conservative question: “This image is mostly a distorted one. But he learnt to deal with criticism. He knows how to place and accept them. He is able to distinguish news pieces and their contexts. Public opinion, the press and television are important and must be taken into consideration. But they often have no influence on the Vatican.”