Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI declines his late brother’s inheritance

In this January 2009 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI greets his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, during a concert for the priest's 85th birthday in the Sistine Chapel. The retired pope has declined the inheritance of his brother, Georg, who died July 1; so the estate goes to the Holy See.
CNS photo courtesy of Vatican Media via KNA


BERLIN (CNS) — Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI has declined the inheritance of his brother Georg, who died in July, according to a report by the German Catholic news agency KNA.

Because of this, "the estate of Georg Ratzinger goes to the Holy See," Johannes Hofmann, dean of St. Johann Collegiate Church, told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. This was stated in the postscript of Msgr. Ratzinger's will, he said.

The house in Regensburg, Germany, where Msgr. Ratzinger lived belongs to St. Johann's, the report said. The monsignor's estate consists mainly of compositions, sheet music by the Regensburg Domspatzen choir, a small library and family photos.

Bild am Sonntag anonymously quoted a confidant of the retired pope as saying he "will certainly still receive one or two mementos." However, he carried the memories of his brother "in his heart," so the 93-year-old "no longer needs to accumulate material things."

Msgr. Ratzinger, 96, died July 1 in Regensburg. The retired pope had visited his older brother in mid-June after the latter's health had deteriorated.

Msgr. Ratzinger was retired Pope Benedict's last close relative. He ran the Regensburg Domspatzen choir from 1964 until 1994.