Pope says he will be 'hidden from world' after retirement

Friday 15 February 2013 11.07
La Stampa reported that the Pope hit his head and bled during his Mexico trip
La Stampa reported that the Pope hit his head and bled during his Mexico trip

Pope Benedict has said he will be "hidden from the world" after he abdicates from the Papacy in two weeks time.

Earlier today the 85-year-old Pontiff met thousands of priests from the diocese of Rome, which he serves as Bishop.

In Monday's shock resignation statement Benedict had promised he would retire to "a life dedicated to prayer".

He elaborated: "Even if I am withdrawing into prayer, I will always be close to all of you and I am sure that you will be close to me, even if I remain hidden from the world".

Earlier today a Vatican spokesperson said that the Pope hit his head during his March 2012 trip to Mexico but denied the accident had any "relevant" role in his resignation.

It was the latest revelation of a hidden health issue to emerge from the Holy See since the Pope's shock announcement that he would stand down on 28 February.

On Tuesday, the Vatican said for the first time that Pope Benedict has a pacemaker and had its batteries replaced just three months ago.

Italy's La Stampa newspaper reported today that the Pope hit his head and bled when he got up in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar bedroom in Leon, Mexico.

The report said blood stained his hair and sheets.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed the incident but said "it was not relevant for the trip, in that it didn't affect it, nor in the decision" to resign.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported earlier in the week that Pope Benedict had taken the decision to resign after the Mexico-Cuba trip, which was physically exhausting for the 85-year-old.