- Title: Former Pope Benedict's late brother Georg Ratzinger lies in state
- Date: 7th July 2020
- Summary: REGENSBURG, GERMANY (JULY 7, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF COFFIN OF GEORG RATZINGER LYING IN STATE AT CHURCH ST. JOHANN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PAYING THEIR RESPECTS VARIOUS OF REGENSBURG CATHEDRAL AND DIOCESE BUILDING SPOKESPERSON FOR DIOCESE OF REGENSBURG, JULIA WAECHTER, GIVING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESPERSON FOR DIOCESE OF REGENSBURG, JULIA WAECHTER, SAYING: "The compassion was extremely large here in Regensburg. People here know Georg Ratzinger, he lived here in the city. He was also the musical director of the cathedral for many years and very well known here. We received condolences from all over the world. People are sending us their sympathies, they are praying for Georg Ratzinger but also of course for his brother, the retired pope." VARIOUS OF WAECHTER SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESPERSON FOR DIOCESE OF REGENSBURG, JULIA WAECHTER, SAYING: "The number of people in the cathedral tomorrow will of course be limited because of the situation with coronavirus. But we want to give as many people as possible the chance to say their last goodbye. So the coffin is lying in state today at St. Johann church and everyone can come here and say goodbye." COFFIN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SIGNING BOOK OF CONDOLENCES VARIOUS OF BOOK OF CONDOLENCES WITH PHOTO OF GEORG RATZINGER (SOUNDBITE) (German) CHRISTIAN SCHWANDTNER, SAYING: "Georg Ratzinger is a well-known personality in Regensburg. He influenced the city so much, also through his brother. And he made the 'Domspatzen' boys choir well known." (SOUNDBITE) (German) REINHARD KREUZINGER, SAYING: "I am from the graduation class of 1980, a former 'Domspatz' (member of the boy's choir) and I have never sung under a greater choir master. He took the Domspatzen into the world. Whatever he's accused of - I can't really comprehend that because he was a child of his time." VARIOUS OF ELDERLY WOMAN SIGNING BOOK OF CONDOLENCES
- Embargoed: 21st July 2020 11:20
- Keywords: Georg Ratzinger Regensburg death lying in state pope
- Location: REGENSBURG, GERMANY
- City: REGENSBURG, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLT7M13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The brother of former Pope Benedict XVI lay in state in his hometown of Regensburg, Germany on Tuesday (July 7), visited by socially-distanced mourners wanting to pay respects to the cleric and choirmaster, who died last week at the age of 96.
Mourners, wearing facial protection to guard against spreading the coronavirus, filed into St. Johann's Church past the coffin of Georg Ratzinger, who for many years led the city cathedral's famed Domspatzen boys' choir.
In his later years, Ratzinger faced criticism for his leadership of the choir after allegations surfaced of children having been abused by other staff there. Ratzinger always denied knowledge of the abuse.
"I have never sung under a greater choir master," said Reinhard Kreuzinger, a former chorister. "He took the Domspatzen into the world. Whatever he's accused of - I can't really comprehend that because he was a child of his time."
Georg and Benedict entered a seminary where they both trained to be priests at the same time in January 1946, after both serving in the army before Nazi Germany's defeat at the end of World War Two.
The Pope Emeritus paid his brother a final visit in late June, leaving Italy for the first time in seven years.
Even following Benedict's elevation to the papacy in 2005, they remained in close touch, with Georg telling the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that his brother would regularly call him on a private phone whose number only the Pontiff knew.
(Production: Niklas Diemer, Marcus Nagle, Ute Swart)
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