Former Pope Benedict, 93, is ‘seriously ill with shingles and his voice is barely audible’ 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
- The 93-year-old has become so weak that his voice is barely audible, the author said
- Comes after visiting Germany in June to see his older brother before he died
Emeritus Pope Benedict is seriously ill after returning to the Vatican after visiting Germany to see his dying brother.
The 93-year-old retired pope suffers from shingles and has become so weak that he cannot raise his voice, according to his German biographer.
Benedict’s mind and memory are active, but his voice is barely audible at the moment, ‘author Peter Seewald told the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse.
Emeritus Pope Benedict, 93 (pictured in June), is seriously ill with shingles and has become so weak he cannot raise his voice, his biographer said
Seewald said Benedict was optimistic when the pair spoke on Saturday when he said he might start writing again when his strength returns.
But his condition has since become “extremely fragile,” the newspaper reported.
Benedict came to his native Bavaria in June to pay his sick brother Georg Ratzinger one last visit.
Ratzinger, 96, died on June 29 after suffering a “serious illness” that his church did not mention.
It was Benedict’s first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year in which he canceled the papacy due to health problems.
Benedict had previously praised his older brother for being a “companion” and “reliable guide” during his lifetime.
Benedict fell ill after returning to the Vatican from Germany, where he last saw his dying brother Gerog (pictured together in 2006)
Georg died on June 29 after a “serious illness” (funeral, photo). The Ratzingers had been close all their lives, with Benedict calling his older brother a “trusted guide.”
The couple had been ordained on the same day in 1951 after deciding from childhood to dedicate their lives to the Church.
Georg, who was an organist and choir conductor as well as a priest, confessed that he was “disappointed” after hearing that his brother had been made pope in April 2005, because that would mean they would see each other less.
Benedict, who was the theological maintainer of John Paul II until his appointment, held the role until 2013, when he was the first to resign in 600 years.
Since stepping down, he has lived in a small, former monastery in the Vatican.
Despite writing several high-profile religious articles since his resignation, he has largely avoided the public eye.