Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pope Benedict's brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger speaks about the Pope

Pope’s brother reveals unknown details of Benedict XVI's life

Rome, Sep 30, 2008 / 10:58 am (CNA).- In an interview by Andrea Tornielli for the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, Pope Benedict XVI’s brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, revealed several unknown details from the childhood of the Pontiff, such as when he said one time that Benedict would be a good name for a pope, and that he never attended Hitler Youth meetings he was obliged to sign up for.

During the interview in Ratisbona, Germany, Msgr. Ratzinger said his brother was “a lively child, but not an earthquake. I remember him as always being joyful. From the time he was a child he showed a great sensitivity to animals, flowers and in general to all nature. Perhaps that’s why he was always given pets as Christmas gifts. His care for nature and for living beings was characteristic of him.”

Speaking later about their family, Msgr. Ratzinger said his family was “very united” and his father was a “police commissioner who came from an old family of farmers from lower Bavaria. My mother was a daughter of artisans, and before getting married she had worked as a cook. When it was possible, as kids we went to daily Mass.”

After noting that their father considered Nazism to be “a catastrophe and not only the great enemy of the Church but also of all faiths and of human life in general,” Msgr. Ratzinger said he and his brother were forced to join the Hitler Youth because “the State ordered all school-age kids, according to their age, to be signed up for certain youth groups. When it was obligatory, we were registered as a block. There was no freedom to choose, and not showing up would have brought very negative consequences.”

He said his brother Joseph “did not attend the meetings” and that that “brought economic harm to my family because by not doing so we could not receive the discounts for school tuition.”

He said that both were altar boys and that their vocations became clear early on, “first to... (Continued here)

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