VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although retired Pope Benedict XVI is growing more frail, there are no particular concerns or worries regarding his health, a Vatican spokesman said.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, issued a statement March 25 following an interview with Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the retired pope’s personal secretary, in which the archbishop said Pope Benedict was slowly “fading.”
“In April, Pope Benedict XVI turns 89 years old. He is like a candle that is slowly, serenely fading, as it happens with many of us. He is calm, in peace with God, with himself and the world,” Archbishop Ganswein told the Italian magazine BenEssere.
The retired pope’s personal secretary added that Pope Benedict still retains “his refined, subtle sense of humor” and remains fond of cats.
“Contessa and Zorro, two cats that live in our gardens, come often to say hello to the pope emeritus,” he said.
After questions were raised regarding the aging pontiff’s health, Father Lombardi said his condition “does not raise any particular concerns.”
“Of course, it is part of the effects of old age and a gradual, growing fragility of the physical condition as with any elderly person,” he said. “(Pope Benedict’s) mind is perfectly lucid as we recently witnessed in his extraordinary interview with an Italian publication.”
In that interview, published in mid-March with Belgian Jesuit Father Jacques Servais, Pope Benedict reflected on the theme of mercy as a “sign of the times” that shows how, deep down, people still experience a need for God.
“Mercy is what moves us toward God, while justice makes us tremble in his sight,” he said.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: