Archbishop Georg Gänswein has appeared
on the cover of Vanity Fair

News that Pope Benedict’s secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, will continue to live with him while also serving the new Pope has reignited speculation about the former Pope’s sexuality.

According to Vatican spokesperson, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, Archbishop Gänswein (56) will serve both pontiffs.

He will live with Benedict (birth name Joseph  Ratzinger) at a monastery inside the Vatican and serve as head of the new Pope’s household.

Leading gay and catholic blogger Andrew Sullivan has written, in a post titled Two Popes, One Secretary, that “something truly weird [is] going on”.

He argues: “So Benedict’s handsome male companion will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day. Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?”

Sullivan adds: “This man – clearly in some kind of love with Ratzinger (and vice-versa) will now be working for the new Pope as secretary in the day and spending the nights with the Pope Emeritus. This is not the Vatican. It’s Melrose Place.”

The blogger has previously argued that “it seems pretty obvious to me… that the current Pope is a gay man… I am not claiming that Benedict is someone who has explored his sexuality, or has violated his own strictures on the matter.

“There is absolutely no evidence of that, or of hypocrisy of any sort. But that does not mean that he isn’t gay.”

Gänswein, who’s been described as “a cross between George Clooney and Hugh Grant” has previously revealed that he and the Pope usually spend the day together, including sharing meals and taking walks together.

Sullivan suggests that the Pope’s anti-gay stance is reflective of his own internalised homophobia as a repressed gay man.

Italian author Angelo Ouattrocchi, in his book about the Pontif, ironically titled The Pope Is Not Gay, also concluded that Benedict is likely gay.

It’s been confirmed that Benedict, who announced his retirement last month, will henceforth have the title of Pope Emeritus.

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