The Vatican, responding to a German newspaper report that former Pope Benedict XVI was critically sick, mentioned on Monday his situation was “not notably worrying” and that he was overcoming a painful however not grave ailment.
The clarification got here hours after Benedict’s biographer, Peter Seewald, sparked alarm by telling the Passauer Neue Presse that he had discovered the 93-year-old ex-pope exceptionally frail when he visited him on Saturday.
Seewald mentioned Benedict, who has been in shaky well being for a while, was now affected by shingles, a viral an infection that causes painful rashes and is widespread amongst older individuals.
“The well being circumstances of the Pope Emeritus are usually not notably worrying, other than being these of an previous man of 93 who’s overcoming essentially the most acute section of a painful however not grave sickness,” the assertion mentioned.
Seewald mentioned Benedict’s voice was barely audible – echoing one thing different guests have mentioned for months – and that the previous pope informed him he would possibly choose up writing once more if he regains his energy.
In June, Benedict, who lives in a former convent within the Vatican gardens, left Italy for the primary time since his resignation in 2013 for an emotional farewell go to to his older brother Georg of their native Bavaria.
Georg Ratzinger died on July 1 aged 96. The 2 brothers have been ordained monks on the identical day in 1951.
Benedict, who was elected in 2005 to succeed the broadly widespread Pope John Paul II after a reign of practically 27 years, shocked the world and even his closest aides on Feb. 11, 2013, when he introduced in Latin he was stepping down.
He informed a gathering of cardinals that he was too previous and frail to guide an establishment with greater than 1.three billion members.
On the time of Benedict’s resignation the Vatican was mired in a raft of economic woes, sexual abuse scandals and infighting amongst bureaucrats that led to leaks of essential paperwork.
Benedict mentioned his resignation was for completely well being causes.
Hardline conservatives within the Church who’ve been alarmed by Pope Francis’ progressive strikes have appeared to Benedict as their customary bearer. This pressured the previous pope on a number of events to remind them that there’s just one pope – Francis.