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Pope Benedict in perfect shape, says Bertone

'Vivacious and lucid, has formidable memory'

07 February, 15:49
Pope Benedict in perfect shape, says Bertone (ANSA) - Roma, February 7 - Benedict XVI is in perfect shape, lucid and brilliant, former secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said Friday of the retired pontiff. "He is in perfect form, physically and intellectually," Bertone said. "He is always very vivacious, very lucid and he has a formidable memory". The cardinal made the comments ahead of the one-year anniversary of the retired pontiff's abdication at the end of this month. Now 86-years-old, he became the first pope in centuries to resign, leading to the conclave that elected Pope Francis. "I see (Benedict) with a certain frequency, without a doubt, and we also call each other," said Bertone, who was replaced as secretary of state earlier this year by Pietro Parolin. "The last time I saw him was on December 26, when he came for lunch to my apartment. "We visited the nativity scenes, because we have a tradition in preparing them, and he likes them a lot. "He stayed for lunch".