Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is ‘very ill’ and his condition is ‘worsening’: Vatican

Vatican Benedict XVI
In this Nov. 28, 2020, file photo, Pope Francis holds hands with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as he pays him a visit at the Vatican. On Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, Francis asked for prayers for Benedict, saying he was “very ill.” (Divisione Produzione Fotografica/Vatican Media via AP)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is ‘very ill’ and his condition is ‘worsening’: Vatican

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Pope Francis asked for prayers for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Wednesday, saying his predecessor is “very ill.”

The surprise request came at the end of Francis’s audience at the Vatican.

“I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict,” Francis said. “Remember him, he is very ill, asking the Lord to console him and sustain him.”

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Francis did not expound on other details regarding Benedict’s health.

Following Francis’s comments, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni issued a statement explaining to the Associated Press that Benedict’s health situation “at the moment remains under control, constantly monitored by doctors.”

“Regarding the health conditions of the emeritus pope, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of his general audience this morning, I can confirm that in the last hours, a worsening due to advanced age has happened,” Bruni said.

Benedict, 95, resigned as the leader of the Catholic Church in February 2013 and has remained living at the Vatican. It was the first time in 600 years that a pope had resigned.

The former pontiff began serving as pope in 2005. Just before his resignation, Benedict said his age was limiting his ability to continue carrying out his papal duties.

Francis noted that Benedict “in silence is sustaining the Church.”

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Earlier this month, Pope Francis, 86, revealed that he has prepared for the day he, too, might need to step down. Francis said he wrote a resignation letter at the time of his election in 2013 in the event medical problems impeded his ability to carry out his duties.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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