Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A month after returning to live at the Vatican, visitors say retired Pope Benedict XVI is in failing health even as his mind remains sharp.


  1. It is sad to observe or know of the decline in health of anyone, especially when it seems they are close to the end of their lives. Benedict was wise to step aside. Conditions with John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and many other pontiffs should make the church consider setting a retirement age for popes as well as they already are for bishops and priests. Along with that consideration, canon law should be changed to maximize the age at which anyone can be elected pope. I note “anyone” with the proper expectation that gender will be adjusted for all ranks of clergy putting an end to the ancient and evil notion that women are not fit for ordination for every church office.

  2. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    I wonder if Pope Benedict XVI is coming to realize the enormous harm that he has done to the church from his policies in protecting predator priests and ignoring or re-victimizing the victims of clergy sexual abuse during his 24 years as head of the office that dealt with clergy sexual abuse cases and from 2005 as Pope?
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago, Illinois, USA