Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Georg Ratzinger interviewed about his brother's abdication

Regensburg - Again, he sat in front of the TV and looked at "Joseph". This is the name Georg Ratzinger uses for his brother, who has been called Benedict XVI for almost eight years and on Wednesday had his last major appearance as Pope.

Although he can no longer see so well, the 89-year-old in Regensburg wanted to see as much of the general audience as popssible of the outgoing head of the Church in St. Peter's Square. "It was very touching," the prelate said to the news agency dpa. "There was a melancholy mood." And Georg Ratzinger added reassuringly added on the poor health of the soon to be emeritus pope. "He is fine"

Also on the evening of 19 April 2005 Georg Ratzinger had been sitting in front of the TV and looked fixedly at the St. Peter's Square, as "Habemus papam" was proclaimed and the Cardinal proto-Deacon proclaimed the name of the new pope: Joseph Ratzinger. From one second to the other, he became pale and the then 81-year-old slumped in his chair. "He is buried in front of the TV and does not say a word," reported his housekeeper, Agnes Heindl at that time. " I've never seen him like that." The fact that his brother was to be pope, and thus he would lose any private life, had shocked him.

But this time the old man who sat with his snow-white hair was a lot more relaxed in front of the TV. "Despite a certain emotion, the positives are of greater weight," Georg Ratzinger said now about the last major appearance of his brother as Pope. The presence of many of the faithful in St. Peter's Square have let the Catholic Church appear as "one big family". His brother had been "relatively well disposed," certified Georg Ratzinger his closest relative, "even though his inner emotions could be seen."

He who had immediately after the election of Joseph Ratzinger to be Pope had heard the words of the longtime Regensburg chapel choir director, could even then hear doubts about the capacity of the prelate, "I had thought that the not so good health of my brother would have led the Cardinals to choose a somewhat younger pope, "Georg Ratzinger said at the time.

For the last appearance of Benedict XVI in St Peter's Square, the 89-year-old was not specially in Rome. "My brother would have had no time in the day for me," Ratzinger explained his absence.

At the inauguration ceremony on 24 April 2005, he had certainly been there. His next visit to the then already emeritus pope's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo is planned for mid-April.
A repeated return visit of his brother to him in Regensburg, Georg Ratzinger, does not believe will happen. "Joseph" will no longer come to Germany, the longtime head of the cathedral choir is sure, even if Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) personally gave an invitation to the Pope at the Vatican on Wednesday. When Benedict XVI visited Bavaria in 2006, he returned for a few hours to the house of Georg Ratzinger.

Thus, the older brother will still visit the younger several times a year in Rome, soon in in his new home, a converted monastery Vatican. There will be space for both. For Georg Ratzinger knows: "I get my own room."


Georg Ratzinger is not convinced that one of the Cardinal Electors is even a Catholic.

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