File photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI File photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI 

Pope Francis asks for prayers for Benedict XVI

At the end of the General Audience, Pope Francis asks for “special prayers” for Benedict XVI “who is very ill.” The Holy See Press Office director confirms there has been an aggravation in his health condition but says the situation remains stable.

By Linda Bordoni

Concluding the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis invited the faithful to say a "special prayer" for his 95-year-old predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

“I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who in silence is supporting the Church. Remember him - he is very ill - asking the Lord to console him, and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end.”

Advanced age

Answering questions put to him by journalists, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed, "In the last few hours there has been an aggravation of his health due to advancing age.”

He added that the situation “at the moment remains under control,” and that the Pope Emeritus is constantly monitored by doctors.

Mr. Bruni also said that after the General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis went to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican where Benedict XVI resides.

“We join him in prayer for the Pope Emeritus,” Mr. Bruni said.

Listen to our report
28 December 2022, 12:15