Ganswein’s Tears

June 20, 2022 (Steven O’Reilly) – Recently, per Gloria.TV news, Archbishop Ganswein gave an address “at a matinée of the Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Foundation at Nymphenburg Palace in Munich on 18 June to mark Benedict’s 95th birthday.”

The “big” news that came out of this is that Archbishop Ganswein broke into tears at a couple points in the talk, and had to collect himself to continue on after sobbing at a couple points. Unfortunately, as has become the norm nowadays, some are very likely going to want to read something into these tears; i.e.,  whether there is some meaning here relating to the nature or causes of Benedict’s resignation.

Below is part of GloriaTV’s reporting on the incident, which also includes a brief video (emphasis added):

Gänswein’s talk went according to plan until he turned to Benedict’s resignation and the aftermath, saying the following:

“I would never have believed that the last stretch of road from the Monastero Mater Ecclesiae to the door of heaven of St. Peter…” He could not finish the sentence because he suddenly broke into sobs and had to interrupt his talk for 22 seconds.

Then he restarted: “until the heavenly door of St. Peter is so long” and sobbed again for 20 seconds. “This is what Benedict XVI entrusted to me in his fine humor,” he added, only to have to pause again for 22 seconds.

This was shortly followed by another 15-second interruption until Gänswein could finish his talk.

[Source:  Gänswein Cries in Front of The Camera (Video). Gloria.TV News]

As suggested earlier, some will probably try to make a big deal about this, and read something into the sobbing and tears. Perhaps, suggesting this has something to do with Benedict’s resignation, its causes, etc. However, no such convoluted analysis is necessary. Here again is the transcript (emphasis added):

“I would never have believed that the last stretch of road from the Monastero Mater Ecclesiae to the door of heaven of St. Peter…” [Sobs for 22 seconds]…”until the heavenly door of St. Peter is so long”…[Sobs for 20 seconds]..,”This is what Benedict XVI entrusted to me in his fine humor,”…[Sobs for 15 seconds, then continues without interruption]

First, note, Ganswein is speaking on the occasion of Benedict’s 95th birthday.  According to the transcript as given, the sentiments Ganswein is relating, come directly from Benedict.  Ganswein explicitly says “this is what Benedict XVI entrusted to me in his fine humor.” Thus, Ganswein is relating Benedict’s sentiment and words. Therefore, Benedict is the one who is ultimately speaking of the “last stretch of road” from the Mater Ecclesiae monastery — where he is currently staying in retirement — to the “heavenly door of St. Peter;” obviously, speaking of death and Heaven.

The meaning of Benedict’s sentiment conveyed by Ganswein is pretty self-evident. Benedict had not expected to have lived as long as he has since he retired, wherein he now lives at Mater Ecclesiae, until his death (his arrival at the “heavenly door of St. Peter). In one sense, there is some “fine” humor in this sentiment as given to Ganswein to convey at the marking of Benedict’s 95th birthday. But, also, it is a poignant thought — certainly for Ganswein as a close friend — as it regards Benedict’s mortality and approaching death.

Perhaps Ganswein knows something about Benedict’s health, or it may simply be Ganswein realizes that at 95 years, his long time friend may soon be gone, or it may be that Benedict’s reflection on his own death is what touches Ganswein’s emotions. Any of these is understandable. Given Ganswein’s close friendship, and love for Benedict, it is not surprising he choked up at this point. There is no cause or reason to read anything else into this incident or into these words.  Most if not all folks can understand such a moment as they might think of their own aging parents, or a grandparent, another loved one, etc.,  who may soon no longer be there in the near future.

Some Benepapists already have constructed an absurd a Plan B scenario (see Benedict’s Plan “B” from Outer Space, Benedict’s Plan B from Outer Space – the Sequel) related to Benedict’s supposed secret plan, and a supposed, cryptic “Ratzinger Code” (Regarding the “Ratzinger Code”) whereby they try to interpret what Benedict ‘really’ means. So, do not be surprised if the Benepapists will soon be reading Benedict’s sentiments, or Ganswein’s tears, like some augur of ancient days, and offering up interpretations of them.

After all, some Benepapists have already tried to make use of a speech Ganswein gave (without tears) three years ago after Benedict resigned. Roma Locuta Est has previously addressed the Benepapist arguments regarding that speech (see Regarding Ganswein’s speech), as well as provided rebuttals of other Benepapist claims (see The Case against those who claim “Benedict is (still) pope”). Like the Benepapist arguments previously addressed, there is nothing to see here either with regard to Ganswein’s tears.

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at  or (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on GETTR, Parler, or Gab: @StevenOReilly).

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