- Title: Former Pope Benedict's brother Georg Ratzinger is laid to rest in Regensburg
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MOURNERS RECEIVING COMMUNION WAFERS
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 13:46
- Keywords: ex-pope papal brother funeral georg ratzinger regensburg
- Location: REGENSBURG, GERMANY
- City: REGENSBURG, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA005CLY7FIF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A tribute from former Pope Benedict XVI was read out at the funeral of his elder brother, the choirmaster and cleric Georg Ratzinger, in the southern German city of Regensburg on Wednesday (July 8).
Benedict's long-serving private secretary Archbishop Georg Gaenswein choked back tears as he read the emiritus Pope's tribute at the requiem for the priest, who died last week aged 96, recalling his joy at leading Regensburg's famed cathedral choir.
"This service was a great joy to him," the 93-year-old Benedict wrote, expressing gratitude that he had been able to pay his elder brother a final visit in June.
It was Benedict's first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year he resigned the papacy.
"He did not ask me to visit him, but I could feel that the time had come to travel to him once again," Benedict said in his message.
The choir, the Regensburg Domspatzen - or Cathedral Sparrows - also performed at the service, at which Rudolf Voderholzer, bishop of Regensburg, recalled Ratzinger's early musical gift and his 30 years heading the Cathedral choir.
In his later years, Ratzinger faced criticism after allegations surfaced of choirboys having been abused by other staff there. Ratzinger always denied any knowledge of the abuse.
Even following Benedict's elevation to the papacy in 2005, the brothers 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 Woschek, Elena Gyldenkerne)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.