Former Pope Benedict XVI is doing well but is no longer accepting visits at the Vatican monastery, where he is spending his retirement, his secretary said on Wednesday.
“Thank goodness, we are all doing well at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, especially Pope Emeritus Benedict,’’ Archbishop Georg Gaenswein told dpa in an emailed statement.
Nobody is allowed to visit the pope as part of the precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus, he said.
A few cases have been reported inside the Vatican.
Formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the erstwhile pontiff has been living secluded since 2013, when he became the first pope in nearly 600 years to quit the post.
He turns 93 on April 16, but Gaenswein ruled out any party.
“It will be a quiet day without any celebrations.
“We are hoping and praying that the oppressive pandemic will soon be overcome,’’ the archbishop said.