Amidst conflicting media reports that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s health was dire, the Vatican confirmed last week he was suffering from a painful disease, but clarified his condition is “not serious.”
In an interview with German newspaper Südkurier published, personal secretary to Benedict XVI Archbishop George Ganswein said the pontiff emeritus’ pain was “subsiding.”
“The pain started after the death of his brother. Whilst very unpleasant and painful, the illness was not life-threatening.”
Ganswein added the illness, facial shingles which causes a red rash, “is pain that I do not wish for my worst enemy.”
Benedict XVI also recently chose his burial place: the former tomb of Pope Saint John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Like JPII, he has also written a spiritual testament to be published after his death.
A Prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Lord, source of eternal life and truth,
give to your shepherd a spirit
of courage and right judgment, a spirit
of knowledge and love.
By governing with fidelity
those entrusted to his care,
may he, as successor to the Apostle
Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your
Church into a sacrament of unity, love
and peace for all the world.