Retired pope, celebrating 93rd birthday, is well, secretary says

17 April 2020
Pope Benedict.


Retired Pope Benedict XVI “is well,” although the coronavirus pandemic restrictions mean he will receive no visitors April 16, his 93rd birthday.

“Thank God, all of us in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery are well,” Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the retired pope’s personal secretary, told Avvenire, the Italian Catholic newspaper.

The retired pope, the archbishop and a group of consecrated women live in the former monastery in the Vatican Gardens.

Usually for his birthday, Pope Benedict is joined by his older brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who turned 96 in January, but Archbishop Ganswein told Vatican News that, this year, the two spoke on the phone. Msgr. Ratzinger’s call was just one of many birthday calls the retired pope had received.

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With thanks to Catholic News Service (CNS), where this article originally appeared.


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