Intention to renounce the papacy, which on Monday unexpectedly announced by Pope Benedict XVI, was aware of his elder brother George a few months ago.
On Monday, the 85-year-old pontiff said he could no longer lead the Catholic Church because of old age. He's going to leave the Holy See on 28 February. This is the first case of renunciation of the Pope in modern history.
"The reason for his resignation is that really what he feels the burden of age ... The fact that it (renunciation) was planned, I learned a few months ago," - said Georg Ratzinger, who was ordained a priest at the same time with his brother in 1947.
Despite the fact that rumors of illness Pope recently quite actively disseminated, including the Vatican, Benedict XVI's statement on Monday came as a surprise even to senior Catholic bishops.