Retired Pope Benedict XVI is ‘very sick’; Pope Francis, Vatican seek prayers read full article at


ROME — Pope Francis mentioned his predecessor Benedict XVI was “very sick,” and the Vatican mentioned the 95-year-old’s well being had “worsened,” placing the Catholic Church on watch about one in every of its most towering conservative figures.

“I ask to all of you for a particular prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict,” Francis instructed pilgrims at his basic viewers Wednesday, asking God to console and maintain Benedict “till the top.”

The Vatican, in its assertion, mentioned the state of affairs “in the intervening time stays underneath management, and is consistently adopted by the docs.”

The feedback appeared to mark a worrying turning level for Benedict, who has been frail however sharp-minded for years and who has now been ex-pope for an extended interval than he served as pope.

Pope Benedict, in retired seclusion, looms in the opposition to Pope Francis

One shut Benedict pal, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to speak candidly a couple of delicate topic, mentioned the retired pontiff had change into weaker since earlier than Christmas however didn’t have details about his well being in the latest hours.

“After all time just isn’t on his aspect,” the pal mentioned. “Some issues are absolutely there.”

After Francis’s basic viewers, he visited Benedict at a convent contained in the Vatican’s historical partitions. The Vatican assertion mentioned, “We be part of [Francis] in prayer for the Pope Emeritus.”

In pictures the Vatican has printed of Benedict — together with on Aug. 27, after a ceremony to call new cardinals — he seems gaunt and hunched. However pals have mentioned he stays clear-minded.

Benedict’s longtime aide, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

In 2013, Benedict turned the primary pope in six centuries to step down from the job. Provided that he’d cited “deteriorated” energy as a think about his abdication, he has had a protracted remaining chapter in retirement. In 2018, he instructed the Corriere della Sera, an Italian each day, that he was “on a pilgrimage towards Residence.”

He had pledged in retirement to take up a lifetime of seclusion — studying, writing, happening walks in a stately backyard. However his life behind closed doorways has ended up being fairly sophisticated — and complicating for the church.

He opted in retirement to put on papal white and selected to not revert to his given title, Joseph Ratzinger. He was embraced as an emblem by a small however vocal band of traditionalists who say Francis is main the church astray. Although Benedict typically stayed quiet on controversial issues, he intervened a number of instances, together with as soon as to contradict Francis’s concepts on the character of clerical abuse and later in objection to floated exceptions on priestly celibacy.

On the similar time, he has said clearly that there’s just one high authority determine within the church. “There may be one pope, he’s Francis,” Benedict mentioned in a single interview.

Francis and Benedict have had a publicly heat relationship, and the present pontiff recurrently quotes his predecessor and cites him in admiring phrases. However their stylistic and coverage variations have fostered years of intrigue about their relationship, whereas additionally inspiring a Netflix film.

What Oscar hopeful ‘The Two Popes’ misses about Francis and Benedict’s relationship

On one level — the problem of resignation — Francis has described Benedict as a clear-eyed trendsetter. He has mentioned that Benedict’s resolution “shouldn’t be thought of an exception,” and that Benedict had “opened a door” for different pontiffs to comply with go well with. Many church watchers have speculated that Francis could be reluctant to step down, even when in unhealthy well being, if Benedict remained alive, given the complications that may come up for a church with two ex-popes. However Benedict’s loss of life might finally enable Francis, 86, to contemplate stepping down.

Benedict turned one of many church’s main theologians by holding an orthodox line, main the marketing campaign — first as a cardinal, then as pope — to withstand modifications introduced on by exterior forces. His view was that if the church tried to bend with the whims of contemporary instances, its teachings would weaken.

His tenure as pope coincided with the escalation of one in every of its foremost crises — a wave of clerical abuse circumstances. And whereas Benedict went additional than his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, defrocking a whole lot of monks, he was gradual to understand the systemic nature of the problem.

Extra just lately, his popularity suffered from a church-commissioned German investigation, accusing Benedict of “wrongdoing” in his dealing with of a number of circumstances throughout his time operating the archdiocese of Munich.


About Chico Harlan

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