Those close to the Pope Emeritus say reports from earlier today are baseless.
Just hours after a German magazine quoted Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, 94, the older brother of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, as saying that Benedict has a neurological disease, aides in Rome said that was “baseless.”
It was not clear if the German periodical, today’s edition of Neue Post, misquoted the monsignor, or where the source of the error was.
Supposedly, Georg had said that if the paralysis caused by the disease were to reach his brother’s heart, “things could be over quickly.”
Aides of the Pope Emeritus at the Vatican, however, said all of this is baseless. While acknowledging that the former pope, who turns 91 in April, does have difficulty getting around, they said he still takes a daily walk in the Vatican Gardens. His increasing immobility is due to age, not any neurological disease.
Last October, it was known that the Pope Emeritus had sustained a fall. A German bishop who went to visit him posted a photo on Facebook showing Benedict with a bruised eye.
The bishop reported:
Though Pope Benedict fell a week ago and has a black eye, he has received us well, full of spirit, and with many memories of small and big things regarding people of his diocese and of ours. He sends his greetings and has given his blessing to all of us.”