Pope's brother: Benedict seeks quiet retirement
REGENSBURG, Germany — Pope Benedict XVI is planning to stay out of the public eye following his retirement at the end of the month and will probably not even write any more, his brother said Tuesday after talking with the pontiff.
Speaking to reporters in his home in the southern German city of Regensburg, 89-year-old Georg Ratzinger said his brother also has no plans to move back to his German homeland but would instead stay in the Vatican.
“You don't transplant an old tree,” Ratzinger said.
The two are very close, however, and Ratzinger said he's already planning to visit his brother later in the year.
The 85-year-old Benedict shocked the world Monday by announcing that he planned to step down from the papacy at the end of the month.
For Ratzinger, however, the decision was no surprise.
“He has been thinking about it for several months,” he said. “He concluded that his powers are falling victim to age.”
He talked with the pope by telephone on Monday evening after the announcement and said his brother was now hoping to lead a quiet life in the Vatican. A prolific writer during his papacy, Ratzinger said that was also something his brother would now likely end.
“I don't think he will write anymore,” Ratzinger said.
Rudolf Voderholzer, the bishop of Regensburg who is also in charge of the pope's theological institute that publishes his work, said even if Benedict does write, no more would be published during his lifetime.
“Anything he published could be conceived as interference in the work of the next pope,” he said.
As for his successor, Ratzinger said only that his brother “feels that a younger person is needed to deal with the problems of the times.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.