Benedict Withering Away: Sources Vatican agrees, but says former pope's condition is not critical By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff Posted Jun 9, 2013 4:42 PM CDT 23 comments Comments Pope Francis, right, and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI meet in Castel Gandolfo. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, HO) (Newser) – Pope Benedict has only recently begun his retirement, but he may not have much time left to enjoy it. Several sources say his health has deteriorated significantly since leaving his post, reports USA Today. "Benedict is in a very bad way" says a Vatican media correspondent who met with the former pope in late May. "We won't have him with us much longer." A German archbishop who saw him in April reports that "he had halved in size." The Vatican acknowledges he has grown weaker since retiring, but denies his condition is critical.