In a recent interview, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger said his brother, retired Pope Benedict XVI, believes he made the right decision in stepping down from the papacy last year due to a lack of physical strength.
“My brother does not regret at all the decision he made one year ago,”
Msgr. Ratzinger said in the book-interview, “My Brother, The Pope,” by
German reporter Michael Hesemann.
“He very clearly understands the tasks and roles he wants to carry out,
and the decision one year ago was clear and continues to be valid
At 90 years old, Msgr. Ratzinger, who is an expert in sacred music and
was granted the title Apostolic Pronotary by Pope John Paul II, lives
quietly at his residence in Ratisbona.
Recalling the day the cardinals elected his brother in the conclave of
2005, he said then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was “very devastated” to
think that he would no longer have time to develop the theological
studies he was so passionate about and that led him to be prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Nine years after his election, Benedict XVI finds time in his still busy
schedule for study and music, two of his greatest passions.
“My brother is in great health, he tries to have quiet time although he
does not have all the time he would like to play the piano or receive
phone calls, since he still has many visits and audiences,” Msgr.
He added that his brother continues to study theology but could not confirm whether the former pontiff is writing his memoirs.
The two have always maintained a close relationship, he continued. The
brothers grew up together, went to seminary together and were ordained
together. They also continue their tradition of spending a few days
together every spring at Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome.
“I have a second telephone in my room that has a number only he knows,”
Msgr. Ratzinger said. “If that phone rings, I know it’s my brother, the
Pope, who is calling.”