Retired Pope Benedict XVI is seen in a file photo strolling in a garden in Bressanone, Italy, with his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger. The retired pope has declined the inheritance of his brother Georg -- who died July 1, 2020 -- so the estate goes to the Holy See. CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters

Pope Benedict declines his late brother's inheritance

  • November 2, 2020

BERLIN -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI has declined the inheritance of his brother Georg, who died in July, reported 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 retired Pope Benedict 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 in Regensburg July 1. 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.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.