Pope Benedict XVI Blind In One Eye, Losing Hearing According To Biographer Peter Seewald
By Jill Heller | February 19, 2013 6:24 AM EST
Just one week after Pope Benedict announced that he will resign from the papacy at the end of this month, reports have emerged that the leader of the Catholic Church may be blind in one eye and is losing his hearing.
Peter Seewald, a German journalist who has written three books on Pope Benedict XVI including the 2010 book-length interview “Light of the Word: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” told the German magazine Focus that when he met with the Pope at the Apostolic Palace in December, he appeared to have lost the vision in one eye, was losing his hearing, and looked emaciated.
"I had never seen him so exhausted, so worn out," Seewald said in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera last week, referring to the 85-year-old Joseph Ratzinger. "He did not look unwell, but the fatigue that had taken over his whole being, his body and soul, could not be missed."
“You cannot define Benedict XVI as a sick man from medical point of view, Seewald said. “However, [he] has the misfortunes of a man of his age, such as fatigue, loss of strength. Has problems in one eye and walks with difficulty.”
But in addition to typical signs of aging, Seewald also reported that Ratzinger appeared to have lost a significant amount of weight since their last meeting. “His body had become so thin that the tailors had difficulty in keeping up with newly fitted clothes. I'd never seen him so exhausted-looking, so worn down,” Seewald said.
Seewald quoted Ratzinger as having said,“I'm an old man and the strength is ebbing. I think what I've done is enough.” When Seewalkd asked if he was considering giving up the papacy, Ratzinger responded , "That depends on how much my physical strength will force me to that."
According to the Los Angeles Times, over 50,000 supporters gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, to attend the Pope’s penultimate weekly blessing, in which he seemed to chastise the Church for the ongoing quarrels that have afflicted his papacy.
“The church, which is mother and teacher, calls on all its members to renew their spirit, turn back firmly toward God and ignore pride and egoism to live in love,” Pope Benedict said. He then asked worshipers to pray for the next pope.
Benedict’s last weekly blessing will be held on Feb. 27; he is scheduled to start his retirement the following day, when he will fly to the papal summer residence. The next papal conclave is expected to confer between 15 to 20 days after that.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Celebrities Who Got Pregnant Using IVF: Busting the Myths About IVF
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Australia Asked National Media to Suppress Multi-National Corruption Case: WikiLeaks
- Opinion Poll in New Zealand Shows National Party Far Ahead in Popular Support
- U.S. ‘Defends’ Israel for ‘Disgraceful’ Attack on UN School in Gaza that Killed 15
- Gold in China: 127-Tonne Gold Reserves Tapped in Xinjiang
- NSW Braces for Severe Weather Condition
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Twin Malaysia Airlines MH370, MH17 Aviation Disasters Create Phobia Among Travellers
- OnePlus One vs. Moto X+1 – Early Specifications, Release Date and Price Faceoff
- 2014 Ebola Outbreak: ‘Out of control… and Can Get Worse'; Asky Airline Stops Flying to Liberia, Sierra Leone; Liberia Closes Schools