The Pope Emeritus fell ill on his return from Germany where he went to be at his dying brother’s bedside on June 18, 2020. In a communiqué, the Holy See seek to be reassuring
The 93-year-old Pope Emeritus, who returned to the Vatican after a visit to Germany, “is very weak and his voice is barely audible,” Peter Seewald told Passauer Neue Presse on August 3, 2020.
The German journalist was able to speak with the former sovereign pontiff two days earlier, on the occasion of the presentation of the new enlarged edition of the biography of Josef Ratzinger: Benedikt XVI. Ein Leben, published by Droemer Knaur, in Munich.
Benedict XVI is said to be suffering from erysipelas [also known as St. Anthony’s fire] in his face, causing him intense suffering: “the Pope Emeritus is now extremely fragile,” explains Peter Seewald.
The authorities are trying to be more reassuring: “the health conditions of the Pope Emeritus are not a source of particular concern, except those surrounding a 93-year-old person who is overcoming the most acute phase of a painful, but not serious, illness,” the Vatican press room announced in the afternoon of August 3.
Msgr. Georg Gänswein, private secretary to Josef Ratzinger, went in the same direction by being optimistic about the former pontiff’s state of health, specifying that if his strength increased again, “he would perhaps take up his pen again.”