The funeral of Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, was held on Wednesday at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Regensburg, Germany.
The emeritus pope was not able to attend, however his longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, did attend and concelebrated the Mass. Archbishop Gänswein read a letter from Benedict XVI at the conclusion of the Mass, stopping several times to contain his emotion before being able to continue reading.
“At this hour when you offer my brother the final brotherly service and guide him on his final earthly path, I am with you,” the Pope Emeritus assured in his letter, dated July 7.
Benedict recalled the visit to Georg he made just days ago, saying that when he said “goodbye” to his brother on June 22, he “knew it would be a farewell from this world forever.” Yet he expressed surety in the fact that “the good Lord, who has given us this union in this world, reigns in the other world and will give us a new union.”
“In the end, I would like to thank him for allowing me to be with him again in the last days of his life,” he wrote. “He did not ask me to visit him. But I felt it was time to go see him again. I am deeply grateful for this inner sign that the Lord has given me.”
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