Former Pope Benedict XVI has reportedly become seriously ill, according to a German newspaper report.
The paper, Passauer Neue Presse, says it got word from Benedict's biographer Peter Seewald, and that Seewald had seen the 93-year-old at the Vatican on Saturday.
A Vatican spokesperson had no comment on the report, but according to Seewald the former pope is suffering from shingles, a viral infection that causes painful rashes and is common among older people.
He added that Benedict was also barely able to talk.
In June, Benedict left Italy for the first time since 2013 and went to Germany to pay his ailing brother Georg a final visit just before he passed away.
Seewald was still hopeful of a recovery though for the the former pontiff, who he did say might pick up writing again if he regains his strength.
Benedict was elected as successor to John Paul II in 2005, but shocked the world barely eight years later when he stepped down for health reasons -- the first such Roman Catholic leader to do so in six centuries.
Since then the more progressive Pope Francis has been the leader of the Catholic Church.