REGENSBURG, Germany — Retired Pope Benedict XVI followed the funeral of his brother, Georg Ratzinger, via live streaming, reported the German Catholic news agency KNA.
Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg said Pope Benedict, 93, was connected to the Mass taking place for his older brother July 8 in the Regensburg Cathedral. Msgr. Georg Ratzinger died on July 1 at age 96.
During the Mass, the Regensburg bishop recalled the surprise June 18-22 visit Benedict paid to the sickbed of his dying brother.
“This sign of humanity touched many people. So all the more do we share in your mourning,” he said in words addressed to the retired pope.
KNA reported that alongside Voderholzer at the altar was Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, and the papal ambassador to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic. Among other participants were the former Regensburg bishop, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, and Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
Providing musical accompaniment for the funeral Mass were 16 former members of the “Domspatzen,” the name of the Regensburg Cathedral’s world-famous boys’ choir that Msgr. Ratzinger directed from 1964 to 1994.
Voderholzer praised Ratzinger’s musical contribution and said it made clear how church music was not an “external ingredient” in a Christian church service. Music itself was ” a medium of evangelization,” he said.