Pope Benedict XVI health fears: Former Pope ‘seriously ill’ after returning to the Vatican

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Benedict has become very frail and his voice is barely audible, his biographer Peter Seewald told German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse. He is understood to be suffering from shingles. Mr Seewald told the paper: “His thinking and memory are sharp, but his voice is barely audible at the moment.

The 93-yearold returned to his native Bavaria in June to pay his ailing brother Georg Ratzinger a final visit. Mr Ratzinger, aged 96, died shortly afterwards.

It was Benedict’s first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year he resigned the papacy.

Benedict’s spiritual will, which has already been written, is to be published after his death.

As his final resting place, he has chosen the tomb of St John Paul II in the crypt of St Peter.

He felt particularly attached to this predecessor whose sarcophagus is now worshiped in a side chapel next to the Pietà Michelangelos in the entrance area of St Peter’s Basilica in the heart of Rome.


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