Pope Emeritus Benedict Relieved to Have Weight of the Church Off His Shoulders

Pope Emeritus Benedict is “relieved” to be free of the “weight” of the Church, his brother says.

Father Georg Ratzinger told the Daily Telegraph that his younger brother is happy in his retirement. The former Pope Benedict spends his days in prayer, reading and playing the piano.

He still “suffers the Church,” but enjoys not have the full weight of it “on his shoulders,” Fr Ratzinger said.

Fr Ratzinger traveled from Germany to Italy for the Pope Emeritus’ 86th birthday.

It is a miracle that these two brothers still have one another at this age and that they are both able to travel and enjoy their lives, including celebrating birthdays.

I wish them peace and happiness in this twilight of their lives.

From National Post:

ROME — The former Pontiff, Pope Emeritus Benedict, is “relieved” to be free of the responsibility of running the Catholic Church, his elder brother has said, but he insisted that Benedict was not suffering from illness.

Father Georg Ratzinger, himself a priest, told The Daily Telegraph his younger brother was “very happy” to be living at Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat south of Rome that he moved to after stepping down in February, becoming the first pope to resign in 600 years. Fr. Ratzinger, 88, who travelled from Germany to celebrate Benedict’s 86th birthday on April 16, said his brother “still suffers the problems of the Church, but is really relieved to no longer have the weight of the Church on his shoulders”.

… Speaking by telephone from his house in Bavaria, Mr Ratzinger denied the pope emeritus was suffering from major ailments. “He is now very old, he does not have any particular illness, but he is weakening due to his age,” he said.

 Since relinquishing the responsibility of overseeing the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, Benedict has spent his time praying, reading and playing the piano at Castel Gandolfo, which is situated on the rim of a volcanic lake, surrounded by acres of private gardens and Roman ruins. (Read the rest here.) 

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  • http://mywordwall.wordpress.com Imelda

    Blessed are they to have each other. I pray that he is able to accomplish in his retirement whatever he was unable to do during his tenure as Pope. God bless him.

  • MaryMargaret

    God bless him and give him peace and joy in his last years. No mention of a cat. I really hope he has a cat for his lap. (I have a feeling that cats find him wherever he goes.) I am so glad that the brothers still have one another.

    • Debbie

      My thoughts exactly. I hope he has a cat too.

      • Dale

        According to a March news article, at least one cat, Contessina, was already in residence at Mater Ecclesiae.

        I will post a link since there is a picture of kitty about half way down the page :)

  • FW Ken

    It’s worth remembering that Papa Benedict carried a heavy weight much longer than the 8 years of his papacy. The years of Bl. John Paul’s decline saw Card. Ratzinger taking responsibilities for more and more aspects of Church life. For decades before that he struggled against the heresies, mostly from the cultural west, then from the late 90s, he struggled against the sexual decadence of the west.

    Then there it’s the theology he had given us, from the Council to the Jesus volumes. It would not surprise me if, 500 years from now, he is not ranked among the great theologians.

    • MaryMargaret

      I would be much more surprised if he wasn’t. A great theologian and a great teacher.

  • Newp Ort

    Good for him. It’s nice to take a break. Too bad JP2 didn’t know about this option!

  • CathyLouise

    The Holy Spirirt works wonders! Benedict XVI’s pontificate was just what the church needed between John Paul II and Pope Francis. Imagine the brouhaha if we had gone straight from JPII to Francis. The press might have imploded if they had to deal with Pope Francis’ charism immediately after Johm Paul’s. They get all excited about what shoes the pope wears-or doesn’t wear.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Good point, Cathy Louise!

  • pagansister

    Most anyone who has lead a large organization or business is happy when that responsibility is no longer theirs. (though I’m sure there are exceptions). Would have been surprised if the former pope wasn’t glad he no longer has all those worries.

  • FW Ken

    Indeed, MaryMargaret, you said what I meant, but added one too many negatives.

    What I started to say is that I would not surprised to see him ranked with St. Thomas Aquinas.

    • MaryMargaret

      No worries, FW Ken! I totally agree. And, I kind of knew that’s what you meant. I wasn’t disagreeing with you..just emphasizing that I think he will be remembered as one of the greatest theologians of all time.