Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of Benedict XVI, has died in Bavaria at the age of 96 years, more than two weeks after the surprise visit to his bedside of the pope emeritus, announced Wednesday the 1st of July to the Holy see. Benedict XVI, at the age of 93 years, went on the 18th of June by plane with his brother hospitalized and very sick for a farewell visit to four days, his first trip abroad since his resignation in 2013. The two brothers, both ordained priests on the same day in June 1951, were very close. Georg Ratzinger was often came to see his famous brother at the Vatican.
In Bavaria, the pope emeritus also went to the cemetery where her parents, but also her older sister Maria, who died in 1991. This last has occupied all his life of his brother Joseph (the future pope), the next one up in Rome. Because of his fragile state of health, Benedict XVI travelled in the company of a doctor and a nurse, but also his private secretary, German archbishop Georg Gänswein, who is now working full-time for him. On the pictures of his trip, he appeared very depressed, moving only in a wheelchair.
A retreat at the Vatican
Benedict XVI dreamed of his retirement in his native Bavaria, but it has happened, paradoxically, the past four decades of his life in the Vatican. In seven years of "retirement," the German pope had previously only left the walls of the Vatican to get a few hours at the pontifical palace of Castel Gandolfo near Rome, in July 2019. Joseph Ratzinger announced in latin in February 2013, cardinals, and flabbergasted that he would not be pope, after eight years of a pontificate beset by a deep crisis.
This ex-German professor of theology, who taught for twenty-five years in German universities before being appointed archbishop of Munich, was the very conservative keeper of the dogma of the Church at the head of the congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, during another quarter-century Rome, before being pope for eight years (2005-2013).
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