Emeritus Pope Benedict in Germany with sick brother

Vatican confirms that Pope Emeritus Benedict is in Germany.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI travelled to Germany today to visit his brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger who is aged 96 and in ailing health, reports Vatican News.

The former pontiff was accompanied on his trip to Regensburg today by his personal secretary Archbishop Gänswein as well as the vice commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie, a doctor, a nurse and an attendant.

Benedict, aged 93, will remain in Regensberg for “as long as necessary", according to the director of the Holy See press office Matteo Bruni.

It is believed to be Benedict's first trip outside Italy since he stood down as pope in 2013, reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Born three years apart, the two brothers are extremely close. They were ordained priests on the same day - 29 June 1951 - and share a passion for classical music.

In 2008 Benedict said this of Georg: "From the beginning of my life my brother has always been for me not only a companion, but also a trustworthy guide."