Pope Benedict XVI Pontiff’s brother denies rumoured ill-health

The pope's brother reported that moving about was increasingly a problem for Benedict, who is 90 years old.

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Pope Benedict XVI, Georg Ratzinger play

Pope Benedict XVI, Georg Ratzinger

(ABC)
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The brother of Benedict XVI, Georg Ratzinger, has denied reports that the pope emeritus is seriously ill.

“My brother is doing fine,” 93-year-old Ratzinger said on Friday.

However, he reported that moving about was increasingly a problem for Benedict, who is 90 years old.

Reading is also getting more difficult for him,” Ratzinger said.

He explained that any restrictions his brother faced were due to his old age.

Mentally, the former pope, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, is reportedly as well as ever.

Georg Ratzinger, who is the former director of the Regensburg cathedral choir and school in the south German state of Bavaria, returned on Monday from a days-long visit to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican Gardens in Rome where his brother lives.

There had been media speculation that the Bavarian-born predecessor to the current Pope Francis had seen a rapid decline in his health.

Vatican Press Office Director, Greg Burke, tweeted a picture of Benedict XVI with two visiting nuns captioned, “The Pope Emeritus, Today at 5 p.m.” on Thursday night. 

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