Pope Francis has said that his predecessor Pope Benedict, the 95-year-old former pontiff who resigned from the post nine years ago, is “very sick” after a deterioration in his health on Wednesday.
"I want to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict who sustains the Church in his silence. He is very sick," Francis said during his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.
"We ask the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church to the very end."
A Vatican spokesman later confirmed that “in the last few hours there has been a deterioration due to the advancement of (Benedict’s) age.”
"The situation at the moment remains under control and continually monitored by his doctors," the spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said, adding that Francis visited his predecessor at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in Vatican City after his general audience.
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Please Pray for Pope Benedict XVI
Former Pope Benedict is 'very sick', Pope Francis says, by Delia Gallagher and Rob Picheta, CNN. 12/28/22: