Former Pope Benedict XVI reported seriously ill

Former Pope Benedict XVI is seriously ill, Reuters reported on Monday, August 3.

According to Reuters, a German newspaper on Monday reported about the former pontiff's poor health, citing Benedict’s biographer, German author Peter Seewald, who met the 93-year-old emeritus pope at the Vatican on Saturday.


As reported, Seewald said Benedict, who has been in frail health for some time, was now suffering from shingles, a viral infection that causes painful rashes and is common among older people.


Seewald said Benedict’s voice is barely audible and that the former pope told him he might pick up writing again if he regains his strength.


In June, Benedict, who lives in a former convent in the Vatican gardens, left Italy for the first time since his resignation in 2013 for an emotional farewell visit to his older brother Georg in their native Bavaria.

Georg Ratzinger died on July 1 aged 96. The two brothers were ordained priests on the same day in 1951.

Benedict was elected in 2005 to succeed Pope John Paul II after a reign of nearly 27 years.

On Feb. 11, 2013, he announced he was stepping down, indicating that his resignation was exclusively due to health reasons.

He told a gathering of cardinals that he was too old and frail to lead an institution with more than 1.3 billion members.

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