Pope Francis asks for prayers for Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI and Pope Francis (Image credit: AP)

Pope Francis has asked for prayers for his predecessor, Benedict XVI, following his health challenge. In 2013, the ex pope resigned due to old age.

Without giving much information on the ailment of the former pope, Francis made the request during the week at the end of his general audience. Benedict is 95 years old and said to be battling with ailments that come with old age. He is currently living in the Vatican.

Francis said in Italian, “I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the church.

“Let us remember him. He is very sick, asking the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the church, until the end.”

The spokesperson of the Vatican, Matteo Bruni, also revealed that the pope went to visit Benedict. Bruni said in a statement, “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. The situation at the moment remains under control, constantly monitored by doctors.”

In Benedict’s latest appearance on December 1, 2022, he was seen looking weak. At the Vatican, he lives with his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, medical staff, and a few other aides.

On February 28, 2013, he resigned from the position, which made Francis’ emergence to become the first pope from Latin America. The latter took over the position on March 13, 2013.

Benedict became pope on April 19, 2005 which made him the first German to become pope in 1000 years. He succeeded Pope John Paul II who occupied the position for 27 years.

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