ROME – A Vatican source denied rumors that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI suffered a stroke this week. Rumors began circulating on social media on Monday night.
Various social media posts claimed that Benedict suffered a mild ischemia stroke, where arteries to the brain become blocked and reduce blood flow. Some blamed the heat wave in Rome for Benedict’s health failure.
“The rumors are false,” the Director ad interim of the Press Office of the Holy See, Alessandro Gisotti, told the Catholic Herald in response to inquiries about the health of the former pontiff.
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy in February 2013. He moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. Since his resignation, he has made occasional public appearances.
Benedict was born in 1927. He recently celebrated his 92nd birthday.