Thousands of mourners sing during the funeral mass for Pope Benedict
Thousands of mourners attended the funeral mass for former Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square Thursday.
The archbishop who assisted Pope Benedict XVI is attempting to handle the late pontiff’s estate, but has found more heirs than he was expecting.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein told Italian news outlets Sunday 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.
POPE BENEDICT’S VISION OF CATHOLICISM, VATICAN II, AND THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH ENDURE THROUGH HIS TEACHINGS
Georg Gänswein and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stand together at Munich Airport for a photo. (Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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?’”
It is not publicly known what money or assets are to be inherited from the late pontiff. Pope Benedict XVI spent his final years living simply in a Vatican apartment.
POPE BENEDICT’S LAST WORDS, ACCORDING TO HIS BEDSIDE NURSE
Pope Benedict XVI flanked by personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gaenswein during a mass. (The Associated Press)
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.”
Last year, the Vatican announced Benedict had passed away on Dec. 31 at 9:34 a.m. He was 95 years old.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
The retired Pope Benedict XVI and the premier of the state of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, drink a glass of beer in the Vatican Garden in Vatican City. Benedict’s private secretary Georg Gaenswein stands behind the two. (Lena Klimkeit/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The late pope’s vast library was willed to the Vatican and the Joseph Ratzinger Vatican Foundation.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]