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Benedict XVI is alert, health improved, old student reports

Catholic World News - June 25, 2013

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI is alert and happy, a friend and former student reports. “His memory is fresh and his eyes are very bright and joyous.”

Father Stephan Otto Horn told an audience in Ireland that the retired Pontiff experienced a “difficult” time immediately after his resignation, but his health later improved. Many observers had commented on the frail appearance of Benedict XVI when he met with Pope Francis at Castel Gandolfo on March 23, in his only public appearance since his resignation took effect.

Father Horn, who has continued to visit with Benedict XVI since the former Pontiff moved into his new residence at the Vatican, is the chief organizer of the Ratzinger Schülerkreis, the group of former students who have met with Benedict XVI each year for an informal seminar. He reports that Benedict XVI helped to choose the topic for this year’s meeting of the group: “The Question of God Against the Background of Secularization.” The seminar will be held August 29 through September 2 at Castel Gandolfo. However, Benedict himself will not attend; for the first time, the seminar will proceed without him.

Father Horn reported that the retired Pontiff has encouraged Pope Francis to spend some time relaxing at Castel Gandolfo this summer. Pope Francis has announced that he does not plan to take a vacation, although he may spend some time at the summer papal residence.

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  • Posted by: garedawg - Jun. 25, 2013 12:28 PM ET USA

    Now perhaps Pope Emeritus Benedict can enjoy a classical music concert without always having to give an impromptu review at the end. During his pontificate, whenever I would go to a concert, I would think: Thank God I'm not the Pope, since I can sit back and enjoy the music and not have to think about giving comments after the show. May he be able to enjoy more concerts in his retirement!

  • Posted by: Contrary1995 - Jun. 25, 2013 11:50 AM ET USA

    Of course BXVI has improved, he removed himself from the source of his distress.

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