Robert Rauhut reviews My Brother, The Pope, by Georg Ratzinger, available in March from Ignatius Press:
In the recently published German interview book My Brother, the Pope, with the writer Michael Hesemann, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger shares many deep and detailed memories of the family life of the Ratzingers. The nine chapters of the book supply a tour d’horizon of their lives, beginning with remembrances of their ancestors and ending with details about how the Pope and his only brother spend their time together nowadays, mostly in Rome.
Published last September in Germany, the book will be published in English this March by Ignatius Press.
Msgr. Ratzinger draws the picture of a typically Catholic Bavarian family of their time, underlining how important their environment and relatives were for their future as priests. He describes the various rites of popular piety for every feast, for example, providing, perhaps, inspiration for modern Catholics on how to celebrate the liturgical year.
Msgr. Ratzinger also addresses a claim of German Nobel Prize winner Günther Grass that he had met the future Pope in a POW camp. The young Josef Ratzinger, Grass said, in the 2006 interview, was “extremely Catholic” and “occasionally used Latin citations.”
“That’s perhaps a nice story, but it is not true,” Msgr. Ratzinger writes. Grass seems “to have probably fantasized something.” They may have been in the same camp, but “either at a different location or at a different time.” Josef Ratzinger, his brother writes, has an excellent memory and would remember such an encounter with Günther Grass.
Read the entire review on the National Catholic Register website.