The Pope finds overseas travel increasingly exhausting and will cut back on his foreign trips, his brother has said.
By Nick Squires, Rome
8:03PM BST 08 Apr 2012
“I think he won’t travel that much anymore, because it’s more and more of an effort,” Rev Georg Ratzinger said of Pope Benedict XVI, who has looked frail in recent weeks.
Rev Ratzinger, who is three years older than his brother, made the remarks during an interview with a Catholic news agency in Germany, KNA.
In a book published last week, he recalled how upset he was when his brother was made pope because he was afraid the role would impose too much mental and physical stress.
In ‘My Brother, the Pope’, published in German and English, he said he was “crestfallen” and “depressed” over his brother’s election as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
“I was seriously worried. I didn’t think of the honours or the positive aspects, but only of the toil and the burden which that responsibility meant for my brother.”
The Pope, who turns 85 on April 16, looked tired during Easter services in Rome.
His duties included leading the annual Way of the Cross procession around the Colosseum on Good Friday and celebrating Mass on Sunday in St Peter’s Basilica.
During his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”) Easter speech he called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and for a return to peace in Mali, which was recently hit by a military coup.
During his trip to Mexico and Cuba last month, he used a walking stick publicly for the first time, amid long-standing concerns for his physical wellbeing.
Instead of walking down the long central aisle of St Peter’s, he travels on a platform on wheels which is pushed by Vatican aides.
The Pope, who succeeded John Paul II in 2005, has just one more foreign trip planned this year – to Lebanon in September, where he will celebrate Mass in Beirut.