ANSA: Pope considers ‘last leg of life’

This from ANSA:

Pope considers ‘last leg of life’

Benedict XVI ready to face old age with brother Georg

(ANSA) – Castel Gandolfo, August 22 – Pope Benedict XVI is looking forward to a peaceful old age spent alongside his elder brother Georg as he enters ”the last stage” of his life.

The pope made his comments on Thursday during a ceremony to make Georg Ratzinger an honorary citizen of Castel Gandolfo, the lakeside town outside Rome where Benedict has his summer residence.

”We have arrived at the last stage of our lives, at old age, and the days left to live grow progressively fewer,” Benedict, 81, told his 83-year-old brother.

”But even at this stage my brother helps me to accept the weight of each day with serenity, humility and courage. I thank him,” the pope said.

”From the beginning of my life my brother has always been not only a companion for me but a trustworthy guide, a point of reference with the clarity and determination of his decisions. He showed me the road to take, even in difficult situations,” he added.

The pope thanked Castel Gandolfo town council for honouring his brother, saying the town ”if it’s possible, has become even dearer to my heart”.

Georg Ratzinger, also a priest, was formerly the director of the Regensburg Cathedral choir.

He accompanied the pope during his two-week stay in the northern Italian mountain town of Bressanone earlier this month, where the pair had a grand piano installed at the medieval seminary where they were staying.

Ratzinger is continuing his summer holidays in Castel Gandolfo.

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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    I know nepotism is a bad thing, but I personally think it would be wonderful if Msgr. Georg were made a Cardinal

  2. EJ says:

    I second that Tim – they are both saints as far as I’m concerned, but I think our Holy Father in his humility and Msgr. Ratzinger too would consider it inappropriate. But who knows, after all wasn’t it mostly out of affection that John Paul II had the then- Msgr. Dziwisz ordained an archbishop? Ad multos annos Sancte Pater!

  3. Larry says:

    Since Msgr. is past 80 years of age and hence no longer able to be an elector I see no problem in the Holy Father granting this honor to a man who has FAITHFULLY served Church in the Gregorian tradition these many years. I am sure that the good Msgr. would not want this honor because he seems far too humble.

    I wouldn’t knock nepostism all that much. It has probably saved many companies and even countries down the centuries. Of course it can be abused; but, so can favors granted based on fraternities or college (seminary) relationships. In this case it is an honr not a position of power that would be granted and that honor would recognize the place of Sacred Music as the Council understood it.

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    Maybe we could start a campaign: “The world has gone too long without a Cardinal Ratzinger!”

  5. Ray from MN says:

    The other day in the German newspaper it was reported that Msgr. Ratzinger’s eyesight is failing. He has a chauffer to drive him to Mass in Regensburg.

    It would be good if he moved into St. Peter’s.

    I think it is so wonderful that the Pope has a living brother. It makes him so much more real.

    The other popes of my life time didn’t have close relatives that the public knew about, thus making them much more remote figures.

  6. Susan Peterson says:

    I hope our Holy Father’s days are not too limited. We need him around for quite a while yet, please God.
    Susan Peterson

  7. Joe Horan says:

    Long live Benedict!! Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia.

  8. Thomas says:

    “after all wasn’t it mostly out of affection that John Paul II had the then- Msgr. Dziwisz ordained an archbishop?”

    I can’t be specific, but I think you’re incorrect. I seem to remember hearing Cardinal Dziwisz was made an archbishop for redtape reasons relating to the Papal Household. It allowed the Holy Father to entrust more responsibility to him instead of relying on less familiar individuals.

    Very vague, I know. But it rings a bell.


  9. This story makes me a little sad.

  10. Maureen says:

    All creation groans with labor pains, and so do we. Of course it’s sad. But it’s also happy.

    I think Msgr. Ratzinger wants to live in his own little house, and in his own country, as long as he can. Probably if he gets too frail and his little brother is still alive, he will move to Vatican City permanently. But honestly, you can’t blame him for wanting to stay in Germany. East or west, home is best; and most of his old students and friends live there.

  11. Andrew says:

    A beacon of light, a ray of hope, amid darkness.

  12. Anthony says:

    Long live the Pope!

  13. Geoffrey says:

    Creating his brother a cardinal wouldn’t be nepotism at all. There is a tradition of the Pope’s brothers and their descendants automatically becoming Roman/Papal Nobility, by being granted a noble title such as prince or count, etc. This has not happened for a while since no recent Pope has had living siblings at the time of his election.

  14. Domenico says:

    ‘This has not happened for a while since no recent Pope has had living siblings at the time of his election.’
    This is not true.
    The blessed Pope John XXXIII has a full lot of brothers and sisters when he was elected. Pope Paul VI had a married brother. Pope John Paul I had a brother married with a lot of children.
    Here in Italy, notwithstanding we have invented the nepotism, the family is never exhibited by people in authority and remains the most private and sacred refuge. A different behaviour not is considered serious by the public opinion.

  15. Domenico says:

    Unfortunately I was too superficial about the brothers of recent popes. They had more than I was aware of.
    Pope John XXIII (1881 – 1963) was born fourth of fourteen children. His brothers Giuseppe, Alfredo, Zaverio and his sister Assunta were present at his death.
    Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) (Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini; 26 Sept 1897 – 6 Aug 1978) had two brothers Ludovico (1896 – 1990) and Francesco (1900 – 1971).
    Albino Luciani was born on October 17, 1912 in Forno di Canale (now Canale d’Agordo) in Belluno, a province of the Veneto region in northern Italy. He was the son of Giovanni Luciani (1872? – 1952), a bricklayer, and Bortola Tancon (1879? – 1948). Albino was followed by two brothers, Federico (1915 – 1916) and Edoardo (1917 -2008), and a sister, Antonia (b. 1920).

  16. Daniel Latinus says:

    I do seem to remember that one or more of Bl. John XXIII’s sisters lived with him throughout his life, and kept house for him. I think at least one of his sisters went with him to the Vatican.

    Come to think of it, I think St. Pius X had his mother living with him in the Vatican for a while.

    As for the present Pontiff and his brother, they are both musicians, and somebody once pointed out that musicians (at least the classical kind) seem to be very long lived.

    To Pope Benedict and his brother: ad multos annos!

  17. Jayna says:

    “Come to think of it, I think St. Pius X had his mother living with him in the Vatican for a while.”

    That’s got to be the ultimate bragging rights for a parent. “Oh, your son’s a doctor? Mine’s Pope, he has his own city.”

    A bittersweet article, but very endearing nonetheless.

  18. Domenico says:

    The mother of the pope Pius X, Margherita Sanson (1813 – 1894), apparently was already dead when her son was elected Pope in 1903. He had two sisters who lived with him, but in Rome they lived in a small apartment outside the Vatican.
    Also Pope Pius XII had a brother and a sister.
    But only Benedict XVI has a brother priest.

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