Category: World / February 11, 2013 2:05 PM EST
The elder brother of Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday (February 11) he respects his brother's decision to resign from his post as head of the Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict shocked the world by saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to cope with his ministry, in an announcement that left his aides "incredulous" and will make him the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages.
The 85-year-old German-born Pope told cardinals in Latin that his strength had deteriorated recently. He will step down on February 28 and the Vatican expects a new Pope to be chosen by the end of March.
The Pope's brother, Georg, who is 89, said he already knew that his brother would step down.
"I was very surprised but I understand it because of the situation. He alone can decide how physically and mentally strong he is, just like only he can evaluate the post he held. Based on this evaluation, he took a responsible decision which I respect," Ratzinger said.
His brother said he was certain the Pope would remain in Rome, and that he looks forward to spending more time with him during his holidays.
Video Source: Reuters