Special prayers asked for ‘very sick’ Pope Benedict - Catholic Courier
Five men are seated around Pope Benedict XVI. Retired Pope Benedict XVI is seated next to Ratzinger prize winners Joseph H. H. Weiler, a professor of law at New York University School of Law, and Jesuit Father Michel Fédou, professor of dogmatic theology and patristics at the Centre Sèvres of Paris, during a visit at the Mater Ecclesia monastery at the Vatican Dec. 1, 2022. Also pictured seated are Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, president of the foundation, and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary to Pope Benedict. (CNS photo courtesy of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation)

Special prayers asked for ‘very sick’ Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Saying that retired Pope Benedict XVI was “very sick,” Pope Francis asked people to offer special prayers for him.

“I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for emeritus Pope Benedict,” Pope Francis said at the end of his weekly general audience Dec. 28.

The 95-year-old retired pope “is sustaining the church in silence,” Pope Francis said. “Remember him. He is very sick.”

“Ask the Lord to console him and sustain him in his witness of love for the church until the very end,” Pope Francis said.

Vatican press office says Pope Benedict’s health is worsening

Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that Pope Francis went to Pope Benedict’s residence after the audience to visit him.

“I can confirm that in the last few hours there has been a worsening (of Pope Benedict’s health) due to advancing age,” Bruni said. “The situation at the moment remains under control, constantly followed by doctors.”

Pope Benedict, who retired in 2013, has looked increasingly frail

On Feb. 11, 2013, Pope Benedict announced that he would retire effective Feb. 28 that year. He spent the first several months of his retirement at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo before moving into the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican Gardens where he has lived since.

The retired pope has looked increasingly frail, but as recently as Dec. 1 the foundation that promotes his theological work released photos of him meeting with the two winners of the Ratzinger Prize. He also met in August at the monastery with Pope Francis and the new cardinals the pope had just created.

Tags: Pope Benedict XVI
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