One thing the Pope will not give up, though, is his alleged secret boyfriend: personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein.
Gänswein, 56, is a German chaplain, dubbed "Gorgeous Georg" by the press on account of his movie star good looks and his "E"-less first name. He inspired Versace's "Clergyman Collection" in 2007. He was featured on the cover of Italian Vanity Fair this past January. He's been the pope's private secretary since 2005, and the two have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and naptime (and in between times) together every day.
Asked once if he ever feels nervous hanging out with the Catholic Church's most important living figure, Gänswein replied that he and the Pope have, over the years, developed a sense of "familiarity." He then conceded, "There are always some situations, however, when the heart beats a little stronger than usual."
They'll continue living together after Pope Benedict retires, too: first in the pope's summer residence; later in a converted monastery located in the Vatican Gardens. In a twist some have found odd, Gänswein will keep his position as head of the new pope's household. Who will he have breakfast with? Where will naptime occur? Do you even want to be my roommate? I feel like I never see you anymore. Oh, the fights they'll have.
While theories regarding an alleged love affair between the pope and his secretary have been floating around for years, no one has produced any evidence that such a relationship, if it exists, ever became physical.
In honor of the love that might have been—that might still be—that dare not speak its name, we've created a little internet scrapbook dedicated to the Vatican's hottest couple.
~*~RiDe oR DiE PoPe~*~
Perfect Family! :D (Meant 2 Be?)
Sexy-n-He Knows It LMBO Let me stop playin'
♪♫¸¸♪♫¸¸My baby is a 10 // We dressin' to the 9s ♪♫ ¸¸♪♫¸¸
Quiet night in. LOVE 2 curl up with a good book. (TV comes after!!)
If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you // RT if you are in LOVE
Theme park day with my baby. Hold on tight! LMBO Let me stop playin'
Got your hat!
Just a joke. Don't be mad. (Are you mad?)
All I need in this life of sin is me and my boyfriend (me and my boyfriend). ;)
[Images via AP, Getty]