Retired pope returns to Vatican after visiting his brother in Germany
Retired Pope Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican on 22nd June, five days after flying to Germany to spend time with his ailing, 96-year-old brother.
During his last morning in Regensburg, the 93-year-old retired pope visited his brother, Mgr Georg Ratzinger, one last time before being driven to the airport in Munich. Mgr Ratzinger was director of the renowned Regensburg boys’ choir from 1964 to 1994, when he retired.
Markus Soder, minister-president of Bavaria, was at the airport to say farewell to the retired pope, who was flown to Germany on 18th June aboard an Italian air force jet.
Soder tweeted two photographs and said saying farewell was emotional. “We are very proud of our Bavarian pope.”
In addition to celebrating Mass each day with his older brother and visiting him every morning and each evening, Pope Benedict also used his visit home as an opportunity to pray at the graveside of his father, mother and sister, Maria, who had run his household in Rome when he was a cardinal. She died in Germany in 1991.
Picture: Retired Pope Benedict XVI smiles at Germany’s Munich Airport before his departure to Rome on 22nd June 2020. Pope Benedict, who is 93, travelled to Germany to see his ailing older brother, Mgr Georg Ratzinger, who is 96. (CNS photo/Sven Hoppe, pool via Reuters).