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93 year old ex-Pope Benedict seriously ill with shingles seven years after retiring from Vatican

Former Pope, Benedict XVI is seriously ill with shingles according to a report in the Monday August 3 edition of the German Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

According to the report the Pope, now 93, is very frail and his voice is barely audible.
He became seriously ill after returning to the Vatican from a visit to Germany in June where he went to see his dying brother.

The pope is suffering from a virus that causes a facial rash and episodes of severe pain, the newspaper reported, citing the former pope’s biographer Peter Seewald.

“According to Seewald, the Pope emeritus is now extremely frail,” the report says. “His thinking and his memory are quick, but his voice is hardly audible at the moment.”

Seewald visited Benedict in Rome on Saturday August 1, to present him with his biography.

“At the meeting the emeritus Pope, despite his illness, he was optimistic and declared that if his strength increased again he would possibly take up his pen again,” the paper said.

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Georg Ratzinger, brother to Benedict, and aged 96, died shortly after he was visited by the former pope. It was Benedict’s first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year he resigned the papacy, citing a “lack of strength of mind and body” connected to his old age.

Pope Benedict, whose original name is Joseph Ratzinger, now lives in a small former monastery inside the Vatican and is being cared for daily by a team of doctors.

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