| 11.1°C Belfast

Emeritus Pope Benedict returning to Vatican after visiting ailing brother

The former pontiff also prayed at his parents’ grave during his visit to his native Bavaria.

Close

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is wheeled in his wheelchair as he visits the grave of his parents and sister (Armin Weigel/AP)

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is wheeled in his wheelchair as he visits the grave of his parents and sister (Armin Weigel/AP)

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is wheeled in his wheelchair as he visits the grave of his parents and sister (Armin Weigel/AP)

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is returning to the Vatican after a four-day visit to Germany to visit his ailing elder brother, the Regensburg diocese said.

Benedict, a Bavarian native, was expected to fly back from Munich airport around midday.

The 93-year-old retired pontiff arrived in Germany on Thursday to be with his 96-year-old brother, Father Georg Ratzinger.

Close

A file picture of Benedict walking with his brother Georg, also a priest (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

A file picture of Benedict walking with his brother Georg, also a priest (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

AP/PA Images

A file picture of Benedict walking with his brother Georg, also a priest (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

On Saturday, he greeted old neighbours and prayed at his parents’ grave.

He stayed at a seminary during his trip, visiting his brother twice a day.

Benedict has lived at a monastery on the Vatican grounds since shortly after his 2013 retirement, a decision that stunned the world.

Elected to the papacy in 2005 to succeed St John Paul II, the former Joseph Ratzinger was the first pontiff in 600 years to resign the post.

PA