During the long recovery period that followed the assassination attempt on John Paul II, the papal apartment became inaccessible and reserved to the Pope’s “tight circle” of fellow-countrymen: His right hand man, Fr. Stanislao, his childhood friend Wanda Poltawska and a group of Polish nuns.
Today, the papal apartment acts mostly as a think tank, where the Pope as theologian and pastor puts together his Magisterium. Following the renovation work that took place in 2005 on the top floor, huge attics were turned into small apartments. They house the Pope’s personal secretary, Mgr. Gaenswein, the four “Memores Domini”, Loredana, Carmela, Cristina and Rossella and the Pope’s brother, Fr. Georg, crape master and former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir. An upright piano has been placed in a corner of his private study, between the shelves that hold his library’s 20 thousand plus books. The circle of people that has access to Benedict XVI’s house is very tight. Within this circle, the most delicate tasks are entrusted to two secretaries: Ganswein and the Maltese priest Fr. Alfred Xuereb. The “Memores” serve in the crape, the kitchens, in the archive and in the secretariat. Birgit is often around for writing up texts.
The layman who is closet to the Pope is “Paoletto”, the Pope’s butler, who is suspected of being the mole behind the Vatican leaks scandal. He was very close to the Pope and is a member of the so-called papal family. Right from the early hours of the morning, the papal butler would enter the Pope’s bedroom to help him get dressed and participate in the private mass celebrated by the Pope in the papal apartment’s chapel. Gabriele then accompanied the Pope to his various daily meetings, including public and private audiences. One of his tasks was to serve the Pope al lunch and sometimes he would even sit at Benedict XVI’s table and eat with him. In the evening he prepared the Pope’s bedroom and took his leave when Joseph Ratzinger retired to his study. He also accompanied the Pope on his journeys. Given the nature of his role, he had access to all “keys” to some of the world’s most secret doors, staircases and lifts.
The church and all who hold and teach the catholic faith needs prayer, the devil is always at work doing tricks to lead and distract those who are committed in working for God through their selfless service to the church. There is a great need to prayer to pray for all who works in the Vatican both religious and lay-people so that their works and actions may do good to the church than evil.