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Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has fallen ill after his return from a trip to his native Bavaria to visit his brother, who died a month ago, a German newspaper reported Monday.

The daily Passauer Neue Presse quoted Peter Seewald, a biographer of the retired pontiff, as saying that the 93-year-old has been suffering from a facial infection since his return to Rome.


Dec. 8, 2015: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI attends a Mass prior to the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, formally starting the Jubilee of Mercy, at the Vatican. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has fallen ill after his return from a trip to his native Bavaria to visit his brother, who died a month ago, a German newspaper reported Monday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Seewald, who has published several book-length interviews with Benedict, handed over a copy of the biography to the former pontiff on Saturday, the newspaper reported. He described Benedict as being optimistic and talking about possibly writing himself if his strength picks up, though he said that Benedict is physically very frail.

In June, Benedict made a four-day visit to the Bavarian city of Regensburg to see his ailing brother. It was his first trip out of Italy since he resigned as pope in 2013. The Rev. Georg Ratzinger died on July 1 at age 96.


Benedict has lived at a monastery in Vatican City since shortly after his retirement. Elected to the papacy in 2005 to succeed St. John Paul II, the former Joseph Ratzinger was the first pontiff in 600 years to resign the post.

He was succeeded by Pope Francis.

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NBA players discuss social justice with pope at Vatican

TSA records its busiest travel weekend since March Biden team is reportedly pushing congressional Democrats to strike an immediate stimulus deal with Republicans to stave off renewed recession NBA players discuss social justice with pope at Vatican

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Five NBA players were part of a delegation that met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday to discuss social justice.

© Provided by Associated Press Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer he recited from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver were joined by NBA players' union exeutive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives — Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti.

The union said the players spoke about their "individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities."

The audience came days before a book comes out in which Pope Francis supports demands for racial justice, specifically the actions taken following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in May. A police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee against his neck for minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

© Provided by Associated Press The cover of Let us Dream, the book, due out Dec. 1, that was ghost-written by Francis’ English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh. Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice in the wake of the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and is blasting COVID-19 skeptics and the media that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown. In “Let Us Dream,” Francis also criticizes populist politicians who whip up rallies in ways reminiscent of the 1930s, and the hypocrisy of “rigid” conservative Catholics who support them. (Simon & Schuster via AP)

Roberts said Pope Francis sought the meeting with the players, and that it “demonstrates the influence of their platforms." Demands for social and racial justice have been paramount among players, especially in recent months following the deaths of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others.

“We are extremely honored to have had this opportunity to come to the Vatican and share our experiences with Pope Francis,” Korver said. “His openness and eagerness to discuss these issues was inspiring and a reminder that our work has had a global impact and must continue moving forward.”


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