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Former Pope Benedict XVI “extremely frail”, says his biographer

Pope Benedict XVI uses a cane as he arrives for an audience with pastors of the Diocese of Rome at the Vatican in this Feb. 14, 2013, file photo. In a Feb. 5, 2018, letter to a journalist from an Italian newspaper, the retired pope said he has diminished physical strength and inwardly is on a "pilgrimage to Home." (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See VATICAN-LETTER-BENEDICT Feb. 7, 2018.

Former Pope Benedict XVI is “extremely frail” after visiting his sick brother.

Benedict’s biographer Peter Seewald told a German newspaper:

“The Pope emeritus is now extremely frail.


“His thinking and his memory are quick, but his voice is hardly audible at the moment.”

The retired Pope is suffering from erysipelas of the face, a virus that causes a rash and episodes of severe pain.

Mr Seewald visited Benedict in Rome on Saturday to present him with his biography.

The author said: “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 now lives in a small former monastery inside the Vatican.

He became the first pope in 600 years to resign, citing health reasons.

He was replaced by the reformist Pope Francis.



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