Former Pope Benedict XVI is seriously ill, has become very frail and ‘can barely speak’, according to reports.
Benedict, 93, fell ill after returning to the Vatican from Germany where he visited his sick brother, Passauer Neue Presse reported on Monday, citing his biographer.
Author Peter Seewald told the daily German newspaper Benedict has become very frail and his voice is barely audible.
But at a meeting with Seewald on Saturday, German-born Benedict appeared optimistic.
He reportedly said he might pick up writing again if he regains his strength, adding he was suffering from shingles.
Benedict went to his native Bavaria in June to pay his brother Georg Ratzinger a final visit.
Ratzinger, aged 96, died shortly afterwards.
It was Benedict’s first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year he resigned the papacy.
A tribute from former Pope Benedict XVI was read out last month at the funeral of his elder brother Georg Ratzinger, a priest and choirmaster, who died aged 96.
Benedict’s long-serving private secretary Archbishop Georg Gaenswein choked back tears as he read the tribute, which recalled Ratzinger’s dedication to leading the famed cathedral choir in Regensburg, southern Germany, for 30 years.
“This service was a great joy to him,” the 93-year-old Benedict wrote, expressing gratitude that he had been able to pay his brother a final visit in June.
“He did not ask me to visit him, but I could feel that the time had come to travel to him once again,” Benedict said in his message.