Benedict XVI's older brother died at 96 years of age in Regensburg. The two were always very close, even when Joseph was elected pope.
April 7, 2008
“His first conversation after the papal election was with Frau Heidl. I no longer went to answer the phone because it rang and rang and always there were journalists on the other end, asking the same questions a hundred times and so I left it alone and thought 'Nuts to you!' as we say in Bavaria. But Frau Heidl went to answer it and suddenly she recognized that at the other end of the line there was the Holy Father, so she was rather excited, delighted and surprised. When I finally talked to him, there was nothing different about it, our fraternal relationship has not really changed. It was just my brother, and we spoke as we always have.”
Georg Ratzinger was Benedict XVI's only close family member still alive. His sister María passed away in 1991. Georg's relationship with Benedict XVI was very tight. Both were ordained priests together, and they shared a passion for classical music. In fact, Georg directed the children's choir at the cathedral of Regensburg.
Georg could be spotted at the Vatican from time to time, visiting his brother. Both left behind moving scenes like this one from Benedict XVI's 90th birthday celebration at the Vatican.
Translation: Claudia Torres