The archbishop who assisted Pope Benedict XVI has been trying to handle the late pontiff’s estate, but has found more heirs than he was expecting, reports Fox News’ recent article entitled, “Vatican searching for heirs to Pope Benedict XVI’s estate.”
Born in Marktl, Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI, passed away last year at the age of 95.
Some estimates show Pope Benedict’s net worth was approximately $2.5 million. After he stepped down as the head of the Catholic Church, he continued to receive a monthly pension of about $3,300, CNBC reported in 2013.
He was buried on January 5, 2023, in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. There are 90 other popes buried under the church.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict’s personal secretary, told Vatican News that he was surprised to find he had five individuals with claims to Pope Benedict’s estate.
“This has been very interesting for me. I thought he had two relatives, two cousins, but there are five cousins in total,” the archbishop said, according to translations from Catholic News Agency.
He continued, “By law I have to write to the cousins who are the closest relatives, and also by law I have to ask them, ‘Do you accept the inheritance, or do you not accept it?’”
What money or assets are to be inherited from the late pontiff is not publicly known.
Pope Benedict XVI spent his last few years living simply in a Vatican apartment.
Gänswein told the newspaper Il Messaggero that “other personal items, from watches to pens, from paintings to liturgical items, were included in a list meticulously drawn up by Benedict XVI before he died.”
The late pope’s vast library was willed to the Vatican and the Joseph Ratzinger Vatican Foundation.
Reference: Fox News (March 22, 2023) “Vatican searching for heirs to Pope Benedict XVI’s estate”