Pope Benedict XVI “Very Ill,” Pope Francis Announces, Requests “Special Prayers”

Catholic Church England and Wales, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Pray for Pope Benedict! 🙏

Pope Francis announced during his Wednesday General Audience on Dec. 28 that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “is very ill,” and requested “special prayers.”

“I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who in silence is supporting the Church,” Pope Francis requested. “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.”

Director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni confirmed at 11:30 local time that “in the last few hours, there has been an aggravation of [Pope Benedict’s] health due to advancing age.”

Bruni said the situation “at the moment remains under control,” and Benedict is under constant medical care.

The Holy See did not specify his condition, however, a source close to the Vatican told the National Catholic Register the 95-year-old Pope Emeritus suffers from kidney failure, which “worsened in the last few hours.”

Benedict also recently had his pacemaker modified “about a month and a half ago to regularize his heartbeats.” However, this health issue is not related to his kidney failure.

Vatican News shared this prayer for Pope Benedict for the faithful to recite: 

EWTN

Mother Mary, please wrap your mantle around Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

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[See also: The Beautiful Christmas Letter Pope Benedict XVI Wrote to Baby Jesus as a Child]

[See also: Wow! Watch This Rare Video of Cardinal Ratzinger Playing the Piano]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

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