Pope's brother says last day 'private'

Pope Benedict XVI greets faithful from his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where Pope Benedict XVI will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) Show caption
Pope Benedict XVI greets faithful from his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where Pope Benedict XVI will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Benedict XVI’s elder brother says his final day as pontiff on Thursday was more of a private matter than his big send-off.

Monsignor Georg Ratzinger told Germany’s RTL television at his home in Regensburg, Germany, that Wednesday’s farewell in St. Peter’s Square was “the most important day for me.” He says it was Benedict XVI’s last encounter with the faithful “and with that, the essential has actually already happened.”

He said: “Today is more private, a sort of an accessory matter, at least according to my point of view.”

Georg Ratzinger, who is 89, was ordained on the same day in 1951 as his brother, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.