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Benedict XVI’s brother Georg Ratzinger has died

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by Courtney Mares

Rome Newsroom, Jul 1, 2020 / 04:30 am MT (CNA).- Benedict XVI’s older brother Georg Ratzinger died Wednesday, just a little more than one week after the pope emeritus’ visit.

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger died in Bavaria at the age of 96 on July 1.

The pope emeritus was able to say a last goodbye to his older brother on June 22 at the end of a four-day trip to Germany to spend time with his ailing brother.

“One can only wish everyone such affection, such a fraternal togetherness, as witnessed in the relationship of the Ratzinger brothers. It lives on fidelity, trust, selflessness and a solid foundation: in the case of the Ratzinger brothers, this is the common, living faith in Christ, the Son of God,” Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg said June 22.

Voderholzer said that the Eucharist was offered every day at Georg’s bedside during Benedict’s visit. The bishop said that when he participated in the Mass with the two brothers he felt that this “is the source upon which they live.”

Msgr. Ratzinger was born in Bavaria on January 15, 1924 as the first son of Joseph and Maria Ratzinger. He expressed an early talent for music, learning to play the violin and the church organ as a child.

He went on to serve as the choir master of the Regensburger Domspatzen, the cathedral choir of Regensburg, from 1964 to 1994.

On June 29, 2011, he celebrated his 60th anniversary as a priest in Rome together with his brother. Both men were ordained priests in 1951.

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