Former Pope Benedict XVI has fallen seriously ill after visiting his ailing brother in Germany and is “too weak,” as reported by the German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse today.
Benedict, 93, suffers from a form of facial skin infection that causes erythema and severe pain, according to the report, citing former pope’s biographer Peter Seewald.
“According to Peter Seewald, Benedict is too weak. His mind and memory are fast, but his voice can hardly be heard now.” Seewald reportedly visited Benedict in Rome on Saturday to give him his biography.
“During the meeting, the pope, despite his illness, was optimistic and said that if he regained his strength he would probably start writing again,” the newspaper said.
Benedict visited his sick brother Georg Ratzinger in Germany in June, his first trip outside Italy since his sudden resignation in 2013. Georg Ratzinger died two weeks later at the age of 96. The former pope, whose real name is Joseph Ratzinger, now lives in a small former monastery in the Vatican.
He has been away from public life since his resignation citing health reasons, the first pope to do so after 600 years.