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Pope Francis asks Catholics to pray for Pope Benedict who is ‘very sick’

By Winnie Onyando December 29th, 2022 1 min read

Pope Francis has asked for special prayers for his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict whom he said is very sick.

Making the announcement, Pope Francis said the 95-year-old pope who in 2013 became the first pontiff in 600 years to step down needed special prayers from all the saints.

“I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the Church,” Francis said in a surprise announcement in Italian at the end of his weekly general audience.

“Let us remember him. He is very sick, asking the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end,” Francis said, speaking in Italian.

One of the latest known photographs of Benedict was taken on Dec. 1, when he met the winners of a prize for theologians named after him. He was seated and looked exceptionally weak.

Since his resignation Benedict has been living in a former convent inside the Vatican gardens, with his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, and a few other aides and medical staff.

Pope Benedict XVI served as the head of the Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013. Benedict’s election as Pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II.

Pope Francis was known as a conservative intellectual, whose disciplining of Latin American priests who promoted Marxist-influenced Liberation Theology earned him the nickname “God’s Rottweiler.”

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