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

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.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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