The pope who wanted to become a house painter
Pope Benedict originally wanted to become a house painter. That comes from someone who should know — his older brother Georg. The other priest in the Ratzinger family told Andrea Tornielli, the vaticanista for the Italian daily Il Giornale, that he remembered his brother Joseph saying this after being confirmed by the cardinal who later ordained both brothers:
“Joseph was confirmed by Cardinal Michael Faulhaber, the archbishop of Munich, in Tittmoning. He was very impressed and said he would like to become a cardinal too. But only a few days after that meeting, while watching the painter who was painting the walls of our house, he said he would like to become a house painter when he grew up …”
Tornielli’s interview with Fr. Georg Ratzinger is entitled “My brother, the pope (who wanted to become a house painter)”. There’s a papal touch in the original Italian — the word for house painter is l’imbianchino, literally “the whitener.” Now as pope, he always wears white.