Former Pope Benedict, 93, ‘Seriously ill and Extremely Fragile’

Benedict XVI at the airport in Munich after visiting his brother in June this year. image: Twitter

FORMER Pope Benedict, 93, is ‘seriously ill with shingles and can barley speak after returning to the Vatican from a visit to see his dying brother in Germany.

Emeritus Pope Benedict is seriously ill with shingles, according to his biographer Peter Seewald. “His voice is barely audible,” said the author. “He became ill after he visited Germany in June to see his older brother before he died.”

Benedict is suffering from erysipelas of the face, a virus that causes a rash and episodes of severe pain. According to Seewald, “The Pope emeritus is now extremely frail. His thinking and his memory are quick, but his voice is hardly audible at the moment.”

Mr Seewald reportedly visited Benedict in Rome on Saturday to present him with his biography. “At the meeting, the emeritus Pope, despite his illness, was optimistic and declared that if his strength increased again he would possibly take up his pen again.”

The former pontiff, whose original name is Joseph Ratzinger, now lives in a small former monastery inside the Vatican.

He has largely stayed out of the public eye since he became the first Pope in 600 years to resign, citing health reasons. A traditionalist in the Catholic Church, he was replaced by the reformist Pope Francis.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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