Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict's private secretary, has been made the cover model for Vanity Fair.
- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Max Rossi)
The next edition of the Italian Vanity Fair will feature "Gorgeous George." Who? Within the Roman Catholic community, "Gorgeous George" may be better known the Titular Archbishop of Urbs Salvia. He is also a prelate and secretary to Pope Benedict.
The new Vanity Fair edition, which will come out just in time for Valentine's, has called Ganswein the "George Clooney of St Peter's." Ganswein did not agree to do an interview with the magazine nor did he pose for the photo, which was photo shopped to fit the cover.
The healine on the magazine reads: "Father Georg - It's not a sin to be beautiful."
"The story does not have the blessing of the Holy See and he did not agree to it or pose for the picture," a Vatican official told The Daily Telegraph. "Having said that, we are fairly relaxed about it – this sort of thing has been going on for the last seven years. I don't think it distracts from his role. But life might be a little easier if he was not so good looking."
As Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Ganswein is currently responsible for arranging all the pope's private and public audiences and his daily schedule. He was ordained as an Archbishop on January 6th of 2013 and has been an official, ordained member of the Catholic Church since 1984.
Donatella Versace launched a "clergyman collection" six years ago and admitted that Ganswein had been his "inspiration," according to the Daily Mail. Ganswein addressed his looks in a previous interview with the Vatican Radio.
"The Italian newspapers started this off and they wrote very complimentary pieces about me," he told the station. "At first it surprised me and to be honest I also found it irritating. I didn't know what t do- should I say something or should I ignore it. I decided to ignore it and now with time I have got used to it."
He cautioned people at the time from judging "superficially."
"The risk is that by just judging a person superficially you don't really find out what they are like inside," he said.