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Pope’s Cousin is a JW?

August 30th, 2005 by *MoonDogg*

Pope Benedict XVI has a cousin who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to this newspaper article (pdf). Steffie Brzakovic was raised a Catholic, but became a Witness in the 1970’s. Appearently her becoming a Witness caused issues with her family, as she hadn’t heard from her cousin in over 50 years. She remembers him as a ‘bad boy’.

Interestingly, he commends her and the Witnesses for ‘doing the work we should be doing’, referring to the ministry.

 Pope Remembers Steffie
“But he’s still just a naughty boy to me” say Cooma Cousin

By Markus Mannheim The Canberra Times vol 21.08.2005

He may be the spiritual head of the world’s largest Christian church, but a cousin of Pope Benedict the XVI says that he is still a naughty boy to her.

Steffie Brzakovic, 78, of Cooma, received a call from her famous first cousin shortly after his election in a papal conclave in April.

It was the first time she had heard from him in more than 50 years.

Mrs. Brzakovic, who was raised in the southern Germany city of Weilheim before moving to Australia in 1956, said she remembered Joseph Ratzinger as a young boy who was often up to no good.

“He was everywhere he shouldn’t [have] been, she recalled yesterday, shaking her head. “When I think today of what we did, it’s a wonder that [we are] alive.”

When she received the phone call three months ago she first thought it was a prank. It wasn’t until His Holiness told her it was “Ratzinger Pepi”, referring to his childhood nickname, that she realized who was on the other end.

“I said, ‘Are you the Pope?’ and he [replied]. ‘But for you I am still Ratzinger Pepi’.”

Mrs. Brzakovic was raised as a Roman Catholic, but became a Jehovah’s Witness in the 1970’s.

She said that while her religious differences with her family had caused frustration, the Pope had encouraged her for following her faith.

“He told me that ‘You are doing the work that we should do’,” she said, referring to her church’s missionary work. “He said, ‘You have halls that are not too big, but they are full. We have cathedrals, churches, chapels and they are empty’.”

Mrs. Brzakovic is spending this weekend at a Jehovah’s Witness convention in Canberra with about 3000 district worshippers.

Pope’s Cousin a JW You can save the pic of the news article and make it larger to read it. The sister has a DC lapel pin on.

Posted in JW | 16 Comments »

16 Responses

  1. syncro Says:

    I wonder what the Pope remembers about Steffie when they were young.

  2. MacSmiley Says:

    How about a reference to the newspaper name, date, section, page, etc ???

  3. liz Says:

    i had the same thought, i have gotten several e-mails re: the pope and his jw cousin, but no one tells the name of the newspaper or a date! even when googled, no name of a newspaper…hmm! oh well! and i liked your post re: just a billboard on 1-5…don’t we wish! hhahaha!

  4. *MoonDogg* Says:

    Appearently this is the source of the article:
    By Markus Mannheim The Canberra Times vol 21.08.2005

    I search their website, and round reference to the named reporter, but not to this particular article.
    MD

  5. yo yo Says:

    Yea were are the references? Must be a fake if no one can prove a real picture with a TRUE HEADER. How bout how they misspelled realised?

  6. John Says:

    The Pope also has another Cousin in NSW who is a Jehovah’s Witness (Steffie Brzakovic) :

    http://noticias.amigostestigos.com/pope-remembers-steffie/

    http://noticias.amigostestigos.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/steffie1.jpg

    (By Markus Mannheim The Canberra Times vol 21.08.2005)

    He may be the spiritual head of the world’s largest Christian church, but a cousin of Pope Benedict the XVI says that he is still a naughty boy to her.

    Steffie Brzakovic, 78, of Cooma, received a call from her famous first cousin shortly after his election in a papal conclave in April.

    It was the first time she had heard from him in more than 50 years.

    Mrs. Brzakovic, who was raised in the southern Germany city of Weilheim before moving to Australia in 1956, said she remembered Joseph Ratzinger as a young boy who was often up to no good.

    “He was everywhere he shouldn’t [have] been, she recalled yesterday, shaking her head. “When I think today of what we did, it’s a wonder that [we are] alive.”

    When she received the phone call three months ago she first thought it was a prank. It wasn’t until His Holiness told her it was “Ratzinger Pepi”, referring to his childhood nickname, that she realized who was on the other end.

    “I said, ‘Are you the Pope?’ and he [replied]. ‘But for you I am still Ratzinger Pepi’.”

    Mrs. Brzakovic was raised as a Roman Catholic, but became a Jehovah’s Witness in the 1970’s.

    She said that while her religious differences with her family had caused frustration, the Pope had encouraged her for following her faith.

    “He told me that ‘You are doing the work that we should do’,” she said, referring to her church’s missionary work. “He said, ‘You have halls that are not too big, but they are full. We have cathedrals, churches, chapels and they are empty’.”

    Mrs. Brzakovic is spending this weekend at a Jehovah’s Witness convention in Canberra with about 3000 district worshippers.

  7. Mike Garde Says:

    This shows how this Pope who was seen as very stern and doctrinaire is in fact first and foremost a pastor. He is not in this context concerned about the absolute differences between Christianity and the JW’s, but with his long lost cousin. Christianity is about the grace of God, JW’s are about human effort with no hope of eternal life. Only 144,000 can hope for that with the rest living on planet earth. Jesus is in reality the Angel Michael.
    What Benedict is doing is not having a go at them, but stresses their real commitment to go door to door sharing their message. Also in distinction to many Catholic Churches which are empty he admires the full JW’s Kingdom Halls. No it is an expression of humility by the leader of the Catholic Church. Has he now accepted that the JW’s are ok, the answer is obviously no. would the former doctrinal controller accept the teachings of the JW? No way! Is the pope a Catholic?

  8. *MoonDogg* Says:

    Christianity is about being Christ-like. Christ preached the good news of the Kingdom. A work the JWs alone continue today.

    And what is ‘eternal life’, if it isn’t living forever on Earth, where we were born? Where Jehovah purposed us to live? Forever? The people going to Heaven are the exception, an action and purpose that came about after the rebellion in Eden. The purpose of those 144,000 is to form government that will rule from Heaven, in order to restore the peace on Earth and put it back the way it was originally intened to be. With man living forever on earth.

    The Pope does not read his Bible.

  9. ok Says:

    good site puoizl

  10. Stephen Bannister Says:

    A Photo of Steffie Brzakovic is available on the Canberra Times Website in the photographic Library for purchase entitled “popegirl” taken on 20th August 2005. This is the photograph appearing in the Newspaper article and so it is a reasonable assumption that the source as stated previously is correct.

  11. John Toce Says:

    The article was published tue sept 6 2005 in Canberra, Austrailia The Canberra Times

    Yes although whe was raised catholic she now sees the truth, I became A JW at that same time.

    True Christians obey Jesus’s command at mt 28:19, this is not a suggestion but a requirement to be a Christian Follower.

    See also Heb 10:26

  12. Hristina Says:

    Cool!

  13. texmex Says:

    I agree with John Toca, I beame a JW when the catholic church refused to accept my father and nephew when they died, into the church to preform a “mass” . Total turnoff and all because we were not “regular contributors’ never mentioned regular attendees. Open your eyes to the real truth.

  14. DJ Says:

    @ 8.MoonDogg – you obviously seem to know a lot about JWs.

  15. Jean Says:

    The newpaper reference is The Canberra Times Volume August, 21, 2005.

  16. liza Says:

    JW’s believe purely the truth from the Bible, not human thoughts but from Jehovah God (Psalms 83:19)

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