Former pope reported as extremely frail

extremely frail

Emeritus Pope Benedict’s papal biographer, Peter Seewald says the former pope as “extremely frail”.

Seewald’s comments are reported in the Monday edition of the German Passauer Neue Presse.

He visited the former pope in Rome on Saturday to present him with his biography.

Benedict, 93, reportedly became ill after visiting his sick brother in Germany in June and is suffering from erysipelas of the face. (This photo of the former pope was taken on his arrival in Germany.)

The erysipelas virus is a potentially serious bacterial infection of the upper layer of the skin. Similar to cellulitis, both infections can be effectively treated by antibiotics.

According to Seewald, Benedict’s “thinking and his memory are quick, but his voice is hardly audible at the moment”.

“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 paper reports Seewald saying.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict’s private secretary also took part in the book presentation in the “Mater Ecclesiae” monastery in the Vatican Gardens.

Due to the corona pandemic, the personal presentation of the book had to be postponed several times.

However, overnight the Vatican has responded to Seewald’s claim made in the German newspaper, saying Benedict’s condition saying “it is not particularly worrying” and that he was overcoming the acute phase of a painful but not grave ailment.

After the former pope’s four-day trip to Bavaria in June, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg described Benedict XVI as a man “in his frailty, in his old age and in his finiteness.”

“He speaks in a low, almost whispering voice; and he clearly has trouble articulating. But his thoughts are perfectly clear; his memory, his combination gift phenomenal.

“For practically all everyday life processes, he depends on the help of others. It takes a lot of courage but also humility to put yourself in the hands of other people; and to show up in public,” Voderholzer said.


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