The former head of the Catholic church – pope Benedict XVI – is reportedly seriously ill and has become “extremely frail” after visiting his brother in Germany in June, according to the Monday edition of Germany’s Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.
Benedict, now aged 93, is reportedly suffering from a condition called erysipelas of the face, the newspaper said in referring to comments made by his former biographer Peter Seewald.
When obvious the condition can cause rashes on the face and severe pain.
“According to Seewald, the Pope emeritus is now extremely frail. His thinking and his memory are quick, but his voice is hardly audible at the moment” the German paper printed.
Mr. Seewald is understood to have visited Benedict in the Italian capital Rome last weekend to give him a copy of his latest biography.
“At the meeting the emeritus Pope, despite his illness, was optimistic and declared that if his strength increased again he would possibly take up his pen again,” the report said