Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scandals even in the Church in Regensburg, Germany

The German internet site, (, which covers Catholic news from mostly Germany and Austria and some other parts of Europe, reports today on an ongoing scandal in the city of Regensburg, Germany. at times to seem to be akin to our Spirit It looks for the sensational.

This part might be a real English language scoop. Apparently, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, the Pope's elder brother, is nearly blind. Pray for him.

But he still celebrates Mass every morning at a cathedral chapel. He is driven by a cathedral official who parks illegally directly in front of the door to the church. Last February, he was fined 15 Euros for parking illegally for 45 minutes. He refused to pay it.

He wrote a letter to the city's mayor, asking for a special permit. The mayor gave him a handicap permit. But there is no handicap parking zone in that location. Now the driver is pulling rank and asking for an exception.

Apparently Msgr. Ratzinger "pulls rank" in other matters, too. When he flies to Rome to visit his brother, Lufthansa, the German airline, flies him for free, the Italian government treats him as an official guest, and he gets a police escort when he is driven to St. Peter's Basilica, where of course, you know that's where his younger brother lives.

But the city of Regensburg refused Msgr. Ratzinger's driver the special permit. It says that it wants to treat all its citizens equally. And besides, it pointed out that there is much suitable parking nearby.

The driver is still parking illegally each day. But for some reason, the police haven't given him any more tickets. guesses that they are "bending the rules."

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