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Rome Reports

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Vatican clarifies: Benedict XVI's health isn't worrying

After setting off all the alarms and letting worry sink in for hours, the Vatican finally responded to the declarations made by the pope emeritus' biographer, Peter Seewald, who assured that Benedict XVI was seriously ill and extremely fragile.

The Holy See's spokesperson, Matteo Bruni, echoed the words of Msgr. Georg Gänswein, Benedict XVI's personal secretary. He said the health conditions of the pope emeritus are not particularly worrying.

The pope emeritus is said to have been suffering for some weeks from an infection affecting especially the skin on his face. It has been causing him pain, itchiness and fever. That's why he has been receiving antibiotics.

The Vatican says Benedict XVI's health reflects that of a 93-year-old who is going through the most difficult part of a painful, but not critical, illness.

Seewald visited the pope emeritus to present him with a biography he'd written about him. After their meeting, Seewald told a German paper that Benedict XVI was gravely ill, that he was barely audible and that he was extremely fragile, although he was in good spirits.

According to Seewald, Benedict XVI had already written his final will and chosen the place where he wanted to be buried, inside St. Peter's Basilica. The Vatican did not comment on this matter.

Translation: CT