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New Pope Prepares for Deathbed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

(SSN Rome) It’s bad when you start a new job and your friends, family and colleagues tell you that you will not last there very long. It’s even worse when you hold the job until death. It’s even worse when you agree with the assessment that you are a short timer. It’s even worse when you can’t be wrong.

How is Benedict XVI preparing for death?

Canceling subscription to Catholic Digest

Hiring assistant to finish Sistine Chapel jigsaw

Asking Showtime to see end of The L Word season early

Skipping to last chapter of “The Da Vinci Code”

With Benedict XVI, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, being the oldest pontiff elected in 275 years, many people are afraid that he may be a short timer. In addition to the concerns about Benedict XVI’s age, he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 1991, and a fall in 1992 that knocked him unconscious and produced severe bleeding.

Benedict’s Brother, Father Georg Ratzinger had said earlier this month that he did not believe his brother had a chance at being elected pope because of his age and his German nationality. Now he is concerned with the Pope’s advanced age and the stress of his new position. "I am very concerned. I would have thought his advanced age and his health, which is not very stable, would have been reason enough for the cardinals to pick someone else," said Georg Ratzinger.

Pope Benedict XVI predicted a “short reign” in comments to cardinals just after his election. The Vatican refused to comment Wednesday on Benedict's health, citing his privacy. Several cardinals acknowledged that Benedict's term will be marked in years, not decades, and that he likely will not be the globe-trotting pope that John Paul was.


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