Pope Francis asks to pray for Benedict XVI

The health conditions of the Pope emeritus have worsened

Benedicto consagración Rusia Ucrania
El Papa Francisco y Benedicto XVI © Vatican Media

At the end of the Wednesday general audience, in greetings in Italian, Pope Francis asked for “a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict who is silently supporting the Church. He is very ill, remember him by asking the Lord to console him and support him in this testimony of love for the Church until the end”. It is the first time that the Holy Father has spoken of the health conditions of his predecessor, who turned 95 in April.

Under medical supervision

The worsening situation of the Pope emeritus was later confirmed by a statement by the director of the Vatican press office. “Regarding the health conditions of the Pope emeritus, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of this morning’s general audience, I can confirm that in the last few hours there has been an aggravation due to advancing age”, he said Matthew Bruni.

Francis visiting Benedict

“The situation at the moment remains under control, followed constantly by the doctors. At the end of the general audience, Pope Francis went to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery to visit Benedict XVI. We join him in praying for the Pope Emeritus” concluded Bruni.

Benedict XVI has lived in the Monastery inside Vatican City since he gave up the Petrine ministry almost ten years ago. Pope Francis often visits his predecessor, faithfully assisted by his personal secretary, Archbishop Ganswein.