Vienna (kath.netclosedcafeteria.blogspot Fr. Georg Ratzinger, the brother of Pope Benedict, is famous in his own right - he used to be in charge of the Regensburger Domspatzen (Dome/cathedral sparrows), one of the foremost boys' choirs. There's a new book about him (in German for now), and he's given an interview for the Passauer Neue Presse. Here is a translation:
What's your evaluation of the first to years of his pontificate - I mean, on a personal, family level: Are you content with your family life between Regensburg and Rome ?
Fr. Georg Ratzinger: I mainly care about my brother's well-being as regards the faith, how the new situation has affected him. And I can witness that he fulfills what the good Lord expects of him, and that he's also being understood by many people. Certainly, my privacy has suffered a bit, I'm not used to this great interest and it's not my nature to be in the public light. But, it also has its beautiful sides and I'm dealing well with it.
The regular contacts with your brother - be it by telephone or through your visits to Rome have become routine by now...
Ratzinger: Yes, you could say that. The fraternal closeness and togetherness has not changed at all, so there's still a family life.
Recently, there have been critical voices - because of the Motu proprio and the statement that the Protestant churches aren't churches in the narrow sense. How much do such controversies affect you ?
Ratzinger: It barely affects me, I have to admit. I only have contacts to people who wish my brother and me well. The negative voices only get to me through detours, where they've already been "purified" and don't hurt me anymore.
You aren't being confronted in person with such criticism ?
Ratzinger: No, I'm not. But, these critical voices were to be expected - if everything were to go smoothly, it wouldn't be a good Pontificate. A person who is active in God's kingdom has to expect resistance, just like our Lord, who also encountered enemies time and again. It can't all be hunky dory. (literally "peace, joy and pancakes")
Pope Benedict XVI. will visit Austria from September 7th-9th. (The Ratzingers were born some 4 miles from the Austrian border). It is well known that the Brothers Ratzinger hold Austria in high esteem. Will you be with him on the trip ?
Ratzinger: Yes, but I don't think I'll have much contact with him. Both of us are Austria-lovers, it's true, and I'm happy that Bishop Kueng (no relation...) of St. Poelten has invited me to stay with him. I'm hoping for beautiful, celebratory days in Austria and that the devil, which, as we know, hides in the details, remains hidden.
What do you especially like about Austria ?
Ratzinger: First of all, it's a foreign country with no language barrier. Then I view it in a musical light, naturally. To me, Austria is the home of Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Bruckner, Brahms. And, in a way this type of people is very different from the Northern Germans who are very rational and who hide their emotions, which they certainly must have, under an externally frigid cover. That's not the case with Austrians. They're polite and nice - nicer than us Bavarians, too. We're a bit grumpy, Austrians are more accomodating.
Foto: (c) kath.net
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