Austrian Religion.orfciting the January edition of Cicero, quotes Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household, as saying that Pope Francis will certainly not admit women to the diaconate. He considers this possibility “excluded.”

The longtime secretary of Pope Benedict XVI sharply criticized “certain forces” that wish usurp the new pope for their own interests. “But I scarcely believe that the pope will let his hand be forced by certain German initiatives in his pontificate.” (Several German dioceses have reported results of the synod questionnaire showing that even among engaged Catholics, Church teaching plays almost no role in their lives, with disagreement on some teachings extending to up to 90% of the faithful.)

For many who are now enthusiastic about Pope Francis, Gänswein predicted, “their jubilation will remain stuck in their throats.”

Archbishop Gänswein said that his work with Pope Francis is harmonious and trustful. But it is “clear that I was and am and will remain strongly attached to Pope Benedict emotionally.”

Gänswein does not expect to become a bishop in Germany. “In the naming of bishops in Freiburg, Cologne, Hamburg, the cathedral chapter elects from a three-name list presented by Rome. Therefore my chances of success are slim.”

An earlier version of this post had “many powerful interests” rather than “certain forces” to translate the German “manche Kräfte.”

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