Benedict XVI is now “dying out like a candle, slowly and calmly,” he told Thursday’s private secretary emeritus pope, Monsignor Georg Gänswein. The Vatican immediately assured that there was no worsening of his condition deemed “fragile”.

“Joseph Ratzinger is an elderly man, certainly, but very lucid. (…) In April, it will celebrate its 89 years. It is like a candle goes out, slowly and calmly, as happens to many of us, “said Bishop Gänswein in an interview with the Italian magazine Benessere , published Thursday.

“He was interested in everything and keeps his subtle humor and subtle,” says the German prelate, who resides with Benedict XVI in the former monastery Mater Ecclesiae in the Vatican.

For Francis, Benedict XVI is “a grandfather at home”

The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, immediately warned against any interpretation of alarmist about Bishop Gänswein “There is no special risk or worsening of his condition.” Before adding, “But everyone can see that it becomes more brittle with time (…) it is clearly losing strength,” he added.

The pope emeritus, q ui resigned in February 2013 , dividing his time between reading, prayer, piano and some visits. He has good relations with Francis,  his successor . The latter also defined as “a grandfather at home,” he likes listening to advice.