Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is reportedly seriously ill with shingles after returning to the Vatican from a trip to Germany where he was visiting his dying brother, media reports said on Monday.
Benedict, aged 93, is said to have become very frail and his voice is barely audible, the UK’s Sun newspaper said in a report.
He came to his native Bavaria in June to pay his ailing brother Georg Ratzinger a final visit.
Ratzinger, aged 96, died shortly afterwards, German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse reported on Monday.
It was Benedict’s first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year he resigned the papacy.
Benedict’s “mind and memory are active but his voice is barely audible at the moment”, Daily Mail quoted the retired Pope’s German biographer, Peter Seewald as saying to the newspaper.
Seewald said Benedict was optimistic when they spoke on Saturday, when he said he might pick up writing again if his strength returns.
But his condition has since “become extremely fragile”, the newspaper reported.
Benedict XVI succeeded John Paul II on April 19, 2005. His papacy ended on February 28, 2013.