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Former Pope Benedict reportedly seriously ill, claims German newspaper

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Then Pope Benedict XVI, right, walks with his brother priest Georg Ratzinger in Regensburg, southern Germany in 2006 (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

Then Pope Benedict XVI, right, walks with his brother priest Georg Ratzinger in Regensburg, southern Germany in 2006 (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

AP/PA Images

Then Pope Benedict XVI, right, walks with his brother priest Georg Ratzinger in Regensburg, southern Germany in 2006 (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

Former Pope Benedict XVI is seriously ill after returning to the Vatican from a visit to Germany, German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse reported on Monday, citing his biographer.

Benedict, aged 93, has become very frail and his voice is barely audible, author Peter Seewald told the daily.

But at a meeting with Seewald on Saturday, German-born Benedict appeared optimistic, and said he might pick up writing again if he regains his strength, the report said, adding he was suffering from shingles.

Benedict came to his native Bavaria in June to pay his ailing brother Georg Ratzinger a final visit. Ratzinger, aged 96, died shortly afterwards.

It was Benedict's first trip outside Italy since 2013, the year he resigned the papacy.

Reuters