Pope's brother rushed to hospital for pacemaker

Pope Benedict XVI's brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, was admitted to Gemelli Hospital in Rome on Wednesday evening with irregularities in his heartbeat.

Catholic News Agency reports that doctors assessed his health and decided to implant a pacemaker. The announcement was made by Holy See Press Office director Joaquín Navarro-Valls.

Navarro-Valls said doctors were satisfied with the procedure, and the Pope's older brother is expected to be released from hospital soon.

Georg Ratzinger was with his brother at the Pope's summer residence in Castelgandolfo, near Rome, when he suffered heart problems. The 81-year-old German priest was recovering well from the operation, the Vatican said in a statement on Thursday.

Ratzinger, three years Benedict's senior, achieved notoriety around the time his brother was chosen to head the Catholic church by suggesting his age was not ideal.

"At 78 it's not good to take on such a job which challenges the entire person and the physical and mental existence," he said shortly before the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope.

Pope's brother in hospital, gets pacemaker (Catholic News Agency 4/8/05)
Pope's Brother Whisked to Hospital for Pacemaker (Reuters/New York Times 4/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Georg Ratzinger (Wikipedia)
Brother defends Pope Benedict's youth in Hitler's Germany (Chicago Tribune/KRT 24/4/05)

[Pope Benedict XVI] 'Particular affection' for China (Vatican Radio English Features 4/8/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Vatican rebukes Israel for "groundless accusations" (catholicireland.net 4/8/05)
Woman suing church over alleged abuse (One News 4/8/05)
Pope cool towards Islam dialogue (American Chronicle 3/8/05)
Chinese priests visit the Pope: an "unexpected gift", a sign of "union with the Holy See" (AsiaNews.it 4/8/05)
Chinese seminary instructors attend papal audience (Catholic World News 4/8/05)
Is the Vatican a Target for Terrorists? (Fox News 3/8/05)
Alexy II expects pope to facilitate better relations (Interfax 4/8/05)
Abuse claimant 'caught in past' (Dominion Post/stuff.co.nz 5/8/05)

5 Aug 2005