Monday, October 27, 2008

Des Papstbruders Super Sweet 85th

It's no secret that the Brothers Ratzinger love their music -- and especially their Mozart.

"His music is by no means just entertainment," the now-Pope once said of the composer's oeuvre. "It contains the whole tragedy of human existence."

"Mozart thoroughly penetrated our souls," he added of his family's appreciation, "and his music still touches me very deeply, because it is so luminous and yet at the same time so deep."

Clearly, the Papstbruder -- B16's brother Msgr Georg Ratzinger -- is of the same mind. Always intensely close with his younger sibling (and ordination classmate) and now long retired as director of the Regensburg Domspatzen (cathedral choir), the pontiff's only surviving relative (above, on their July holiday at Bressanone) will mark his 85th birthday in January at the Vatican with a Sistine Chapel concert given by his former choir... the funding for which has garnered a chorus all its own:
The Catholic Diocese of Regensburg plans to spend 100,000 euros ($126,000) flying 90 boy choristers and 37 musicians to Rome to perform a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart mass in the Sixtine Chapel in the Vatican especially for him. Ratzinger reportedly chose the Mozart mass when asked what he would like for this birthday.

Sigrid Grabmeier, deputy chairwoman of a liberal Catholic lay group We Are the Church in Regensburg Diocese, criticized the use of diocesan funds for the event.

She said Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller ought to have paid for the extravagant mass from his private funds.

Focus quoted a diocesan spokesman, Jakob Schoetz, saying the income came from rents and church tax, which is automatically deducted from church member's pay checks.
...and for your Monday morning interlude, a brief clip of the younger bruder at the ivories: