Former Pope Benedict says health is declining
Former Pope Benedict in an open letter in an Italian newspaper said his health was declining, and that he’s ready for his final “pilgrimage.”
“I am so moved that so many readers want to know how I spend my days in this, the last period of life,” he wrote in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“I can only say that with the slow withering of my physical forces, interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards home.”
Those around him said the former Pope is still mentally aware, but that he needs assistance in getting around, Reuters reported.
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Benedict in February 2013 became the first pope in six centuries to resign, citing his poor health and the rigorous demands of papal travel.
His seven-year papacy was marked by mismanagement and controversy, including what many critics said was a failure to address sexual abuse within the Catholic church.
The German-born Pope’s letter comes as he approaches the fifth anniversary of stepping down.
Benedict, who will turn 91 in April, has been living in a monastery in the Vatican since his resignation.
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