Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 26 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Paula of St. Joseph Calasanz
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Emeritus battling a skin infection


SVEN HOPPE / dpa-Pool / dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP

Benedict XVI during his trip to Germany in summer of 2020 to visit his ailing brother.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/03/20

Biographer reports that his voice is frail, though his mind is sharp and he is feeling optimistic.

The author of a biography of Benedict XVI due out in English in November was able to visit the pope emeritus on August 1 and reported to a German newspaper that Benedict is suffering from an infection that has caused a painful rash on his face.

The 93-year-old pope emeritus has erysipelas on his face, according to biographer Peter Seewald, as reported by German Passauer Neue Presse. The infection, relatively common in the elderly, causes a painful red rash and can cause other symptoms. It’s treated with antibiotics.

Benedict XVI left the Vatican this summer for the first time since his 2013 retirement. He went to visit his older brother, Georg Ratzinger, in their native Germany. Just a couple weeks afterward, on July 1, his brother passed away.


Read more:
‘For all that you have done, suffered, and given me’: Benedict’s farewell to his brother

Seewald said that Benedict has been “extremely frail” since his return from Germany. He also said that his voice is now barely audible.

Nevertheless, his mind and memory are sharp, the biographer said, and Benedict XVI continues to be optimistic, even saying that if his strength returns, he will take up writing again.

Bach-Archiv · Bachfest Leipzig

Read more:
Benedict XVI praises an arrangement of Bach that relates life of Christ

Pope Benedict XVI
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.