.- Erika Kopp hasn’t seen her cousin since 1979, when he was the cardinal of Munich. But she’s hoping to see him again soon, this time in his new role in service to God and the Church as Pope Benedict XVI.
Kopp is very proud of the little cousin she grew up with in Germany and who is now Pope Benedict XVI. Her father was the brother of the Pope's mother, Maria. The 79-year-old migrated to Australia with her late husband, Karl, in 1955.
"To me, he will always be Joseph. I don't know what you would say to a Pope," the grandmother of three told Australia’s Herald Sun. She sent him a congratulatory card.
Kopp told the Herald Sun that she was not surprised to see her cousin named pontiff.
When he was only five years old, she recalled, he told everyone that he would one day be a bishop, she said. He spent his childhood studying and playing the piano, she said, and he never got into mischief.
"He was always very religious,” she said. “He's a good man."
She believes her cousin will be a good spiritual leader and hopes he will remain in good health. "I think he will do good things to bring the people into the Catholic faith," she said.