Pope Francis appeals for prayers for ‘very ill’ predecessor Benedict – BBC

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Pope Francis has said former Pope Benedict XVI is very ill and he has asked pilgrims at the Vatican to pray for him.

Benedict, 95, became the particular first leader of the Catholic Church to stand down within 600 years in 2013, citing advanced age.

At the end of the particular Pope’s final audience of the year, he asked people in order to “pray a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict”.

The Vatican then said the ex-Pope’s health had worsened in recent hours.

“The situation at the moment remains under control, constantly followed by doctors, ” stated spokesman Matteo Bruni.

Pope Francis was addressing a general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall when he looked up from a piece of paper plus spoke about Benedict’s declining health.

He then made the particular short trip from the hall to the Vatican Gardens to see Benedict at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where he has lived since this individual stepped down.

Earlier this month Francis revealed he or she frequently visited his forerunner.

Speaking associated with Benedict as a “saint” and the man of high spiritual life, he said the former pope has been lucid and had a good sense associated with humour.

The former Pope has struggled with speech for some time and two years ago a Maltese cardinal mentioned Benedict experienced told new cardinals that “the Lord has taken away my conversation to let me appreciate silence”. “He speaks softly but follows your conversation, ” Pope Francis told Spanish newspaper ABC.

Pope Francis greets Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a meeting with newly named Cardinals at the Vatican's Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on August 27, 2022

Vatican Pool

Cardinals around the particular world joined Pope Francis in praying for his predecessor. “In these difficult and serious moments, let us unite within fervent plea for our dear Pope Emeritus, ” wrote Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, the most senior African prelate at the particular Vatican until last year.

When the Pope took brand new cardinals to meet him in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in August, Benedict looked frail but this individual shook them all by the hand plus engaged with them.

Benedict XVI had been 85 when in February 2013 he or she surprised Catholics around the particular world with his decision in order to step straight down, less than eight many years after he had been elected Pope as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Not since Gregory XII stepped lower in 1415 had a pope resigned.

Benedict got presided over his precursor John Paul’s funeral Mass. He was the eighth German to become Pope and was known for his conservative, traditionalist views, campaigning against the social activism of liberation theology.

But his papacy was marked by the scandal involving child sexual abuse by priests. Two reports within 2009 detailed the extent of paedophilia and cover-ups within the Irish Chapel – and it later emerged that will almost 400 priests had been defrocked simply by Benedict in 2011 and 2012.

However, earlier this year the former Pope accepted that errors have been made in handling sexual abuse cases while he has been archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.

A German inquiry commissioned by the Church found that this individual had failed to act in four cases. Benedict denied wrongdoing but requested forgiveness for any “grievous fault”.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the current archbishop associated with Munich, said he acquired seen Benedict in September and called on churchgoers to include him in their praying.

Although Benedict was the first Pope with regard to 600 yrs to remain down, Pope Francis produced clear in his Spanish interview this month that he or she too had signed a letter of resignation in 2013 “in case associated with health impediment or whatever”, handing it to Primary Bertone, the particular Vatican secretary of state at the time.

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