The health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI worsens

Benedict XVI’s health has deteriorated due to his age, and doctors are constantly monitoring the health of the 95-year-old pope emeritus, the Vatican reported Wednesday.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Pope Francis, who on Wednesday asked the faithful to pray for his predecessor, went to visit him at the monastery in Rome where the emeritus pontiff has lived since he retired in February 2013.

“Regarding the health of the pope emeritus, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of his general audience this morning, I can confirm that in the last few hours there has been a deterioration due to advanced age,” Bruni said in a statement.

“The situation at the moment remains under control, constantly monitored by doctors,” according to the statement.

At the end of his usual Wednesday audience with the public in a Vatican auditorium, Francis paused in his previously prepared remarks to say that Benedict XVI was “very ill” and asked the faithful to pray for him. He did not go into more detail about his health.

“I would like to ask everyone for a special prayer, for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who is silently supporting the church,” Francis said after an hour-long audience. “Remember him, he is very sick,” Francisco said. Ask “the Lord to console him, and sustain him in this testimony of love for the church, until the end.”

After the audience, “Pope Francis went to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery to visit Benedict XVI. “Let’s all join him in praying for the pope emeritus,” Bruni said.

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Benedict XVI — the first pope to resign in 600 years — has grown increasingly fragile in recent years, having devoted his post-papal life to prayer and meditation.

On his 95th birthday in April, his longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, said the emeritus pontiff was in good spirits, adding that “he is naturally physically relatively weak and fragile, but quite lucid.”

The pope visited him in the monastery four months ago. On that occasion, Francisco had created new cardinals and they accompanied him in the brief greeting.

The Vatican then released a photo showing a very thin Benedict XVI shaking hands with Francis, both smiling.

In his early years of retirement, Benedict XVI attended a couple of ceremonies to create cardinals at St. Peter’s Basilica. But in recent years, he had not been strong enough to be present at the lengthy ceremony.


After eight years of pontificate (2005-2013), marked by multiple crises, this renowned theologian was hit hard at the beginning of 2022 by the drama of sexual abuse against children in the German Catholic Church.

His resignation, announced in Latin on February 11, 2013, was a personal decision due to his failing health and not to the pressure of scandals, as announced by the ex-pontiff in a book of confidences published in 2016.

His departure opened the way for the election as Supreme Pontiff of the Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who at 86 also has health problems, for which he moves in a wheelchair.

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