Benedetto-Fan in the German section shares with us this item from KNA, a Catholic news agency.
Here is a translation
The Pope's caretaker
By Christoph Renzikowski, KNA
Pope Benedict's private residence
is a rather simple house in a suburb
of Regensburg. Rupert and Therese Hofbauer
are its caretakers.
Rupert Hofbauer could easily be a rich man. The Pentling resident is most sought-after for interviews
in the days preceding the Pope's visit to Bavaria.
A camera team has offered him outright 100,000 Euros if he allows them to try and catch a glimpse of
the Pope from his house when the Pope visits his private residence in Pentling on September 13.
The visit will be kept strictly private.
But Hofbauer is not only the Pope's next-door neighbor. He is also his house custodian. Of course,
he turned down the unethical offer!
"How could I spoil my friendship with the Pope?" he asks simply.
For 28 years (since Joseph Ratzinger moved to Pentling), hardly anyone paid attention to the Hofbauers.
In 1977, when their next-door neighbor was surprisingly named Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he asked
Rupert and his wife Therese to look after his house and garden in his absence.
But since April 19, 2005, when he was elected Pope, some of the limelight has also fallen on the Hofbauers.
Their sign in front of the Pope's residence directs inquiries to their address. The retired fire chief
of Regensburg and his wife provide information to visiting fans of the Pope - among them, nuns from the
United States, many Vatican clergy and civilian workers, and most of all, Polish pilgrims.
At the time of this interview, there were piles of earth on the Pope's lawn. Much work remained to be done.
Therese Hofbauer would be responsible for the seasonal planting.
"She knows exactly what the Pope likes best," he says. "Elder bushes must be planted, and some rose
bushes, too. And a clematis species called 'Polish spirit' with lilac flowers."
A Pentling master housepainter, who was once an altar-server for Cardinal Ratzinger, recently gave
the house a fresh coat of paint, for which he received a letter of thanks from the Pope. His apprentices
put up a beautiful larch fence on the street side.
The terrace has been re-paved, and the space in front of the doorway is now ornamented with a mosaic
in the form of the early-Christian fish symbol.
Shortly before the visit, a flower tapestry depicting the Pope's coat of arms will be set into the lawn.
"I am hoping I will unlock the door for him, " Hofbauer says. The Pope may carry the Keys of the
Kingdom on the Papal seal, but right now, he does not have the keys to his own house.
Two other members of the Hofbauer household will be happy to see Joseph Ratzinger again -
Chico the cat, and Ingo, an 11-year-old golden retriever.
"I am sure the Pope misses them," says their master. "Every time someone from Regensburg
visits him in Rome, he asks, 'How are the pets?'"
As the news agency picture accompanying the article was minuscule, I am taking the liberty
of re-posting here the pictures taken by Simone in Pentling last June.
[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 05/08/2006 21.41]