Vatican: Pope Benedict No Longer Organ Donor
Leader of the conservative New Democracy party Antonis Samaras speaks to his supporters during an election rally at Syntagma square in Athens, Friday, June 15, 2012. Greeks cast their ballots this Sunday for the second time in six weeks, after May 6 elections left no party with enough seats in Parliament to form a government and coalition talks collapsed. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) / Petros Karadjias
The pope's secretary Monsignor Georg Gaenswein addressed the issue in a letter to a German doctor who has been using the fact that Benedict possessed a donor card to recruit other donors.
Vatican Radio, in a German language report this week, said Gaenswein wrote that while the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's organ card dates to the 1970s it was rendered void when he became pope.
His secretary sought to put the matter to rest, saying any references to the now invalid document are mistaken.
Until the last century papal organs were removed not for transplants but to make embalming more durable.
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