Pope's Bro to Merkel: Chill Out

Ratzinger says German leader's call for pontiff to clarify Holocaust stance is 'irrational'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 1:13 PM CST
In this photo released by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, greets his brother Georg Ratzinger, right, in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, HO)
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(Newser) – The pope’s brother today criticized Angela Merkel for demanding that Benedict XVI restate his views on the Holocaust amid the controversy over a reinstated priest, the Times of London reports. “I always saw her as a rational woman,” Georg Ratzinger—himself a Catholic priest—said of the German chancellor. “But perhaps at the moment she is under pressure to say something irrational.”

Merkel had called for a “clarification” of the pontiff’s stance on the Holocaust in light of the reinstatement of British Bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied that Jews died in Nazi gas chambers. A Vatican spokesman countered that Benedict’s condemnation of Williamson could “not have been clearer.”