Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Brothers Ratzinger

Catholic News Service has a great story about Pope Benedict and his brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger.

Here is a short excerpt:

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger said having Pope Benedict XVI as a brother has not unraveled their strong fraternal ties or dimmed the deep affection the two feel for each other.

Soon after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope April 19, 2005, Msgr. Ratzinger immediately told his younger brother that he was afraid his new mission as leader of the universal church would keep them apart and cool their friendship.

Instead, the changes to the brothers' relationship have not been so drastic, the 82-year-old musician and retired director of the famed Regensburg boys choir told the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, April 16.

"We still call each other up regularly and frequently, and we see each other every time it's possible," said the monsignor, who lives in the southern German city of Regensburg.

Though getting together is not as easy as it was before his brother became pope, Msgr. Ratzinger said the things they chat about and the affection they share have not changed.

I think being Pope has to be an isolated life. He lives surrounded by people but alone. How does one determine who is a true friend and who is simply enamored with the title? The Pope is not allowed to mingle freely with people so the window for friendship is rather narrow.

Pope Benedict is lucky to have his brother. I am sure their siblingly bond makes a lonely life more bearable.

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