Benedict XVI – what is he sick with? “The situation is certainly very serious”
The Vatican announced on Wednesday that Benedict XVI’s health had deteriorated, citing his advanced age. Details about the disease were not given. Years ago, his late brother, Fr. Georg Ratzinger.
The director of the press office of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, in a statement sent to journalists on Wednesday, December 28, emphasized that the pope emeritus is under the care of doctors and the situation “is now under control”. Bruni wrote that after the end of Wednesday’s general audience, Pope Francis went to a residence in the Vatican Gardensto visit his predecessor. “We join him in praying for the retired pope,” the spokesman added.
“The situation is certainly very serious,” said Benedict XVI’s longtime companion and theologian Wolfgang Beinert, quoted by the dpa agency.
The Vatican did not provide details on the health of the 95-year-old priest. According to the late Pope Emeritus brother, Fr. Georg Ratzinger, the reason for him abdication was “health compromised”. – The Pope got tired quickly (…) Age of pregnancy – told reporters in 2013, adding that Benedict XVI “has more and more problems with walking and his doctor advised him not to undertake transatlantic voyages some time ago.
What does Benedict XVI suffer from – brother in detail
Five years later, Fr. Ratzinger revealed in an interview published by the magazine “Neue Post” that his brother suffers from progressive paralysis. The condition, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Charcot disease, causes muscle weakness that leads to gradual paralysis of the body. Symptoms of the disease are also difficulties with speech and swallowing, breathing disorders, weakening of facial expressions or problems with sensation. Fr. Ratzinger explained in 2018 that it was because of his illness that Benedict XVI had to use a wheelchair.
After the retired pope visited his sick brother in Regensburg in June 2020 shortly before his death, the German daily Passauer Neue Presse, citing Benedict XVI’s biographer Peter Seewald, reported that a clergyman suffers from facial erysipelas, which causes severe pain, a disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by streptococci, and is very weak. According to Seewald, Pope Emeritus had been ill since his return from Germany. The Vatican press office said at the time that he was recovering from an “acute phase of a painful illness”, which, however, “is not severe”.
Pope Francis calls for prayers
During the Wednesday general audience, Pope Francis asked for prayers for Benedict XVI. – I would like to ask you all to pray in a special way for the retired Pope Benedict, who silently supports the Church – he appealed. As he added, the pope emeritus is “very sick”. The Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Reinhard Marx, responded to Francis’ call. – If the Holy Father Francis tells us that we should be united in prayer, we do it today especially with young Christians – he said.
Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, quoted by the daily La Repubblica, assured of support for Benedict XVI “in a moment of suffering and trial”: no matter how difficult the trials, how severe the problems, how heavy the suffering, we will never fall out of the hands of God, those hands that created us, sustain us and accompany us on the path of existence, because they are guided by infinite and faithful love.
Main photo source: Sven Hoppe/EPA/PAP
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