Former pope ill after trip to Germany: report
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Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is ill with a facial infection after returning to Rome from a trip to his birthplace of Bavaria, the German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse reported Monday.

Peter Seewald, Benedict’s biographer, told the newspaper the retired pope has been dealing with the infection since returning from Germany in June, according to The Associated Press. Benedict visited the city of Regensburg in June for four days to visit his brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, who was on his deathbed. Ratzinger died in July at the age of 96. The two brothers were ordained on the same day in 1951.

The visit marked Benedict’s first time leaving Italy since 2013, when he resigned the papacy. Since his retirement and the election of Pope FrancisPope FrancisExperts advise against pope's trip to Iraq amid pandemic Italy commemorates one-year anniversary of its first known COVID-19 case Vatican says workers refusing vaccines may be fired MORE, Benedict has lived in a Vatican City monastery.


Seewald told the German newspaper that Benedict, 93, is in good spirits. Despite his extreme frailty, Benedict expressed optimism he could possibly do some writing of his own, according to Seewald, the news service noted. However, Seewald said Benedict continues to have trouble speaking and that his voice is scarcely audible.

Benedict, who was elected to succeed Pope John Paul II in 2005, cited his age and health when he announced his retirement seven years ago. His retirement came during a period of mounting financial woes and sexual abuse scandals within the church, but Benedict said he was stepping down entirely for health reasons.

The Hill has reached out to the Vatican for comment.