.- On May 19th, during a ceremony honoring his brother, Msgr.Georg Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI expressed delight at the 30 years of sacred music that his brother had produced for Austria’s Ratisbone Cathedral.
After his brother received the Austrian First Class Cross of Honor for Science and Art, assigned him by Austrian president Hienz Fischer, the Holy Father said that, "It feels strange for me to speak now. As I came down here, my secretary said to me: 'Now, dear Holy Father, your brother is the most important person'.”
“There is no doubt about that,” he said. “I find it pleasing that my brother, who for 30 years has so committed himself to sacred music in Ratisbone Cathedral and in the rest of the world, should receive recognition from such a competent body.”
"When I speak,” the Pope continued, “despite my inadequacy, I feel, so to say, like the spokesman for those present here who feel joy, gratitude and satisfaction for this moment.”
“As my brother has said, Austria is in a very special way a country of music. Whoever thinks of Austria, thinks in the first place of the beauty of creation that the Lord granted it. They think of the beauty of the buildings, the cordiality of the people, but also and above all of the music. ... For this reason, the fact that our dear neighbor Austria should give this recognition to my brother takes on a particular importance. And I too give my heartfelt thanks.”
"I imagine”, the Holy Father said, “that also the new generation of cathedral cantors, instructed by the choir master, find cause for joy and encouragement in the fact that 30 years of work have been recognized, and that this may help them to honor the message of the good God, in these times when we have such need, and to lead men to joy with renewed drive and enthusiasm. Thank you."