Benedict's Health So Bad Docs Told Him Not to Fly

Report outlines high blood pressure, sleeping trouble

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 20, 2013 6:49 AM CST

(Newser) – A fuller picture of the laundry list of Pope Benedict's physical ailments continues to emerge. In addition to reported partial blindness, the pontiff has suffered from high blood pressure to the extent that his doctor warned him to spend "as little time as possible" flying, according to the Vatican Insider website. For instance, he was told not to visit Rio de Janeiro for this year's World Youth Day.

Benedict has also had trouble sleeping, sometimes tumbling out of bed, AFP reports via the Raw Story. He has needed help on stairs and has required a walking stick to get around at home. "The picture is of a progressive deterioration of his health and his energy—a context that fully justifies the difficult decision that the pope has taken," says a Vatican expert.

Artist Michael Triegel, known as 'Pope painter,' works on his second portrait of Pope Benedict XVI in his studio in Leipzig, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/dpa, Waltraud Grubitzsch)
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