Benedict 'Will Not Interfere' - Brother
Pope Benedict XVI will not interfere in the affairs of his successor after his decision to resign later this month, the pontiff's brother has said.
Georg Ratzinger told the BBC the Pope would only "make himself available" if he were needed.
The Pope said on Monday he would resign after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church because he was too old to continue at the age of 85.
Speaking to the BBC from his home in Regensburg, Germany, Georg Ratzinger said his brother had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.
"When he got to the second half of his 80s, he felt that his age was showing and that he was gradually losing the abilities he may have had and that it takes to fulfil this office properly."
He said the resignation therefore was part of a "natural process".
And he added: "Where he's needed he will make himself available, but he will not want to want to intervene in the affairs of his successor."
He later admitted at a news conference that he had been "very surprised" by his brother's move but saw "the reasons behind the decision".
The next pontiff will be chosen by members of a 117-strong conclave held in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
Georg Ratzinger said he believed the next pontiff would be another European and not from Latin America or Africa.
"I am convinced there will be a pope from one of these countries at some point," he told a news conference in Germany.
"I have my doubts though it will be now as there are so many capable Europeans and the Africans are not as well-known and possibly don't have the experience yet."