Vatican quashes rumors of Benedict XVI stroke

Vatican quashes rumors of Benedict XVI stroke

Pope Francis visits Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on the eve of his 92nd birthday at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on April 15, 2019. VATICAN MEDIA

By Catholic News Agency

June 19, 2019

VATICAN— Pope Benedict XVI is not dead and did not recently suffer a stroke, the Vatican confirmed on Tuesday.

On Monday, rumors circulated on Twitter and other social media platforms that the Pope Emeritus had suffered a “mild ischemia” – a kind of stroke.

“The rumours are false,” Alessandro Gisotti, director ad interim of the Press Office of the Holy See, confirmed to the Catholic Herald on Tuesday.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict’s personal secretary, called the rumors “fake news,” Edward Pentin reported on Twitter.

On multiple occasions over the past several years, Vatican officials have had to quash similar rumors that the small, white-haired nonagenarian is close to death.

Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy in 2013, citing advanced age and declining strength that made it difficult to carry out his ministry. He was the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.