I have decided to translate an article from the Italian that I found on the web-site "Petrus" of Gianluca Barile concerning the interview with Georg Gänswein. It has all the interesting information:
The pope’s secretary: "Also a plush teddy-bear for the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict"
By Angela Ambrogetti
VATICAN CITY - "What I can say, it is that I am very grateful for this book. It is a reading that enriches and that nurtures; I can surely invite anyone to read it". The personal secretary to the Pope sums up the book "Jesus of Nazareth" - signed Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI - in this way.
In an interview released on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the Pope to the German program of Vatican radio, monsignor Georg Gaenswein opens a window on the "Appartmento" and leaves it up to us to imagine the festivity of the birthday for the Pope which will be celebrated within the Papal family, comprising letters of congratulations and gifts.
"A large number of letters and many small gifts – he discloses - like CDs, flowers, books, writings arrive and surely much more will still arrive, many things within the proximity of the birthday and also thereafter. As far as gifts are concerned the Pope has said explicitly that he prefers not to accept personal gifts: who wants to offer him a present can make a donation that he will then use for a purpose he will make public in due course, like - for example the Holy Land or other areas of crisis in the world or also in Africa. The most curious gift has been an enormous bear. It is an animal made of plush that has not come from the Germany but from Italy, a beautiful piece that the Holy Father suggested should go to the Paediatric hospital Bambin Gesù
where it was received with great enthusiasm by the small children: those who knew how to write, thanked him with a most beautiful letter, while for smallest ones the president of the hospital has answered".
Also the papal family will offer a present to the Pope. Is it easy or is it difficult to make a gift to the Holy Father? "Who knows the Holy Father at close range soon learns to recognize what appeals to him and we hope that we have found something that will please him. We will give it to him on the big day itself, probably before breakfast, after mass".
But the true gift for Pope Benedict, says Gaenswein, "is when he sees that there are persons who accept the Word of God that he, and the Church announces and that this Word is not considered a load but an aid, like wings that carry the burden of the life, and that this faith then takes root in the personal life of the individual. You meet persons who are touched and affected by that and who draw great advantage / use their from faith . This is an experience that offers great joy to the Pope". The German specialist in Canon Law - who since 2004 is personal secretary to the former cardinal Ratzinger and now to the Pope – reveals also the daily routine of his job. In particular opening and processing the mail that all through the days of anniversary increased considerably. "There are many, many persons, private citizens but also many persons with official assignments, many organizations, many bishops have approached the Pope with the request that he not skip or consider second in importance his 80th birthday; the Holy Father has responded positively to this request and has offered the possibility to people to extend their best wishes for the occasion".
Many have even thought of sending an e-mail. "An official e-mail address of the Holy See obviously does exist; I did not want to give my private address for these purposes, because my computer already "is exhausted" and is surely happy to be able to avoid receiving also this enormous load of e-mails". The daily correspondence is already too much, don Georg goes on saying: "obviously official letters addressed to the Holy Father, then of course there are also letters that come from the personal, private background of the Pope: [coming from persons who] have many years of way completed with him, many years of friendship or relationships of student times ... It is important to succeed in finding the key that opens the door in such way that has then not been submerged from a true alluvium but also that the flow is not reduced to a small river. There is no specific recipe: A certain ability to value is helpful, a sensibility to hand on this flow to the Holy Father. Twice a day I have a kind of audience with the Holy Father, in which I must present him "in cumulus" all the mail that arrives by means of the Secretariat of State and several of the ministries.
Beside this "official bundle", obviously there are also many private letters, and I have the task to submit these letters to the Pope. Normally, it is easy enough to characterize who writes: there is the heading and then, when the letters are written by hand, you can acknowledge the handwriting and moreover, the Holy Father has an incredible ability of identifying immediately who writes him. Therefore, besides the official mail, there is also the private mail."
Does it all end up on the table of the secretary? "If it all ends on my writing desk, I do not know. At times, the ways of the correspondence of the Holy See are impenetrable. I can say however that what arrives on my table is more than sufficient". Then congratulations to the Pope and good job [done] to don Georg!
[Modificato da @Andrea M.@ 16/04/2007 20.07]