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Pope makes longtime aide a bishop in St. Peter's

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January 6, 2013 07:09 AM EST | AP

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has rewarded his longtime loyal secretary by making him a bishop in an elaborate ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica.

The pontiff and Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, a fellow German, embraced warmly. Benedict, 85, held up well during the nearly three-hour long service Sunday, which also marked Epiphany, a Catholic feast day.

Gaenswein, 56, has been Benedict's closest aide for years, and helped steer the papal household through an embarrassing scandal of leaked documents last year. A Vatican court convicted the pope's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, of stealing the documents from the papal apartment. Benedict has since pardoned him.