Did the pope go blind?
Pope Benedict XVI, who is resigning on February 28 for health reasons, reportedly may have lost sight in one eye as well as experiencing difficulties with his hearing.
Benedict, 85, has had an assortment of health challenges during his time as head of the Catholic Church which resulted for one thing in a secret procedure to install a pacemaker and later a new battery. It’s been reported that hit his head during a visit to Mexico.
But the alleged vision problem is the latest revelation, and, as such, his health issues may be more serious than originally thought. The Vatican generally keeps all such health matters confidential.
The Los Angeles Times provided this account of Pope Benedict’s alleged blindness:
“Peter Seewald, a German journalist who has interviewed Benedict on numerous occasions, said that when he last saw the pope 10 weeks ago, his hearing had deteriorated and he appeared to have gone blind in his left eye.
” ‘His body had become so thin that the tailors had difficulty in keeping up with newly fitted clothes .. I’d never seen him so exhausted-looking, so worn down …’ “
After he leaves office, Pope Benedict will continue to live on the Vatican grounds in a former monastery that is being refurbished. He will hold the title of bishop emeritus of Rome. There has been much made — perhaps too much — of the fact that his Vatican residence will make him immune from any child abuse-related legal prosecutions, if any. The issue of personal security was likely the primary factor, however.
According to the New York Post, Pope Benedict blessed many thousands of enthusiastic well-wishers from around the world today from his window that overlooks St. Peter’s Square: “The Sunday noon appointment is one of the most cherished traditions of the Catholic Church, and this moment is one of Benedict’s last opportunities to connect with the Catholic masses.”
There are reports that the Cardinals are advancing the timetable for the papal conclave so that the new pope is in place by Easter.