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Vatican Reports Pope Benedict XVI’s Health is Deteriorating

Vatican Says Health of Retired Pope Benedict XVI ‘Worsening

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s health has deteriorated recently as a result of his senior age, and doctors are closely monitoring his status. Pope Francis urged the faithful to pray for his “very unwell” predecessor “till the end.”

Francis visited the 95-year-old, elderly Benedict at the monastery on Vatican property where he has been since retiring in February 2013, according to Matteo Bruni, a spokesman for the Vatican.

In a written statement, Bruni stated that “regarding the health status of the emeritus pontiff, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the conclusion of his general audience this morning, I can certify that in the recent hours, a deterioration owing to advanced age has occurred.”

According to the statement, “the issue is currently being closely followed by doctors and is under control.”

Francis deviated from his scheduled remarks to state that Benedict is “extremely unwell” and asked the faithful to pray for the retiring pontiff at the conclusion of his routine Wednesday encounter with the general public in a Vatican theatre.

Francis made no further mention of Benedict’s condition.

Francis urged everyone to say a particular prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who was keeping the church silent. Remember him; he is in critical condition. He is pleading with the Lord to comfort him and keep him going in his testimony of love for the church.

Following the one-hour audience, “Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae convent. Bruni urged everyone to join him in prayer for the retired pope.

In recent years, Benedict, the first pope to step down in 600 years, has grown more feeble as he devoted his post-papal life to prayer and meditation.

The retired pontiff was in high spirits when he turned 95 in April, according to his lifelong secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, who also noted that he was “naturally he is physically relatively frail and feeble, but rather coherent.”

Four months ago, Francis also paid Benedict a visit at the monastery. The new “princes of the church” followed Francis to the monastery for the quick meeting at the time because it was the occasion of his most recent ceremony conferring cardinal rank on churchmen.

When the picture was taken, the Vatican made it public. It showed a very thin-looking Benedict holding Francis’ hand and grinning at him.

In his early years of retirement, Benedict attended a few ceremonies in St. Peter’s Basilica to elevate cardinals. However, he had lost his ability to attend the lengthy service in recent years.

In 1977, he was promoted to cardinal status by Paul VI, the pontiff at the time. The German prelate and theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was the Vatican’s orthodox doctrinal inspector for a long time. In 2005, he won the election for pope.

In February 2013, Benedict shocked a roomful of Vatican prelates by declaring in Latin that he would resign as pope in two weeks. His choice alarmed several church traditionalists.

Francis has commended Benedict’s choice as a brave admission that his physical fragility no longer allowed him to adequately serve the 1.3 billion Catholics around the world.

Francis has stated that he would contemplate retiring if the circumstances called for it, given his personal health history, which includes a knee ligament issue that has caused him to use a wheelchair or a cane.

Francis stated that he composed a resignation letter soon after his fellow cardinals chose him to succeed Benedict as pope in order to have it on hand in case health issues prevented him from performing his duties in an interview with the Spanish daily ABC earlier this month.

Francis, though, downplayed his mobility issue in the same interview by asserting that one rules with the head, not the knee.

Limburg Bishop Georg Baetzing, who is also the leader of the German bishops’ conference, joined Francis in asking for prayers in Benedict’s home country.

Baetzing stated to the German news agency dpa, “My thoughts are with the emeritus pope.” “I ask the German faithful to pray for Benedict XVI.”

Olaf Scholz, Berlin’s chancellor, “wishes the German pope, as we say, a good recovery and his thoughts are with him,” government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said at a routine press briefing.

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