From America Magazine
Benedict XVI Makes Surprise Visit to Gravely Ill Brother in Germany
In a very surprising move, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 93, flew to Germany this morning, on a plane provided by the Italian state, to visit his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, 96, who is gravely ill at his residence in Regensburg.
He was accompanied by his private secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, a nurse, a doctor, one of the lay women who care for him and a number of security guards, including the deputy head of the Vatican Gendarmerie, various sources, including the Vatican and the secretary of the German bishops’ conference, confirmed to the local and international media.
He arrived in Munich at about 11:45 p.m. and was transported from there by car by Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer to Regensburg. Benedict is still in Germany and “will stay there as long as is necessary,” said the Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni.
Further Information about Georg Ratzinger
The war and Nazism interfered with this period of his life. He was drafted into a branch of the German army but was wounded in 1944 in a battle in Italy. At the end of WW II he was a POW of the U. S. When released, he arrived home in July of 1945.
In January of 1946, he and his brother Joseph entered the seminary for the archdiocese of Munich and Freising to study for the priesthood. He continued his musical studies. The two brothers were ordained in 1951. Afterwards, Georg studied church music in Munich while serving in different priestly functions for the diocese.
Those studies were completed in 1957, and he became the choir director in his home parish in Traunstein. Many musical awards were to follow this appointment, including conducting for his brother’s consecration as Archbishop of Munich and Freising. His choir sang in honor of Queen Elizabeth II at her state visit in 1978, and at Pope John Paul II’s visit to Munich in 1980.
He is, to say the least, an accomplished musician and director.
In 2011 Georg Ratzinger celebrated sixty years as a priest and was interviewed on this topic. He said, “My brother was the second to youngest, though there were some who were older.” He noted, “I have the stole and cassock from that day.”
He celebrated his 90th birthday on January 15, 2014 with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican.
Papal Artifacts is honored to include Georg Ratzinger in our Notable Individuals’ segment.