Pope Francis Emotionally Asks for Prayers for Ailing Pope Benedict XVI: "Very Sick"
- The Roman Catholic leader has asked the faithful to pray for the retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI so God will comfort him
- Pope Francis said his predecessor was very ill but he did not elaborate on the condition of Benedict
- Benedict lives in a convent on Vatican grounds and has become increasingly frail in recent years as he dedicates his post-papacy life to prayer
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Pope Francis has said his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI is "very sick" and asked the faithful to pray for the retired pontiff so God will comfort him "to the very end".
Seeking special prayers
Francis did not elaborate on Benedict's condition as he made the surprise appeal at the end of his general audience.
Benedict became the first pope in some 600 years to resign in 2013, with the former pontiff taking the title of pope emeritus. Since then, he has been living in the Vatican.
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"I'd like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Emeritus Pope Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the church," Pope Francis said in his remarks.
"I remind you that he is very sick. Let's ask the Lord to comfort him and sustain him in this testimony of love to the church to the very end."
It was not clear if he was speaking about the 95-year-old's health in general or if his predecessor had some illness.
A Vatican spokesperson, queried about Benedict's condition, said the press office was seeking more details.
Benedict has become increasingly frail in recent years as he dedicates his post-papacy life to prayer and meditation.
Some cardinals and canon lawyers have questioned Benedict's decisions on retirement, including his decision to continue wearing the white cassock of the papacy.
Another point of contention has been Benedict refusing to revert to his birth name Joseph Ratzinger.
Critics say those choices and Benedict's continued presence in the Vatican have been confusing for Catholics and threaten the unity of the Church.
Tinubu hails Bishop promoted by Pope Francis as cardinal
In a previous report via Legit.ng, the 2023 presidential flag bearer of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu hailed Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke who got promoted to a cardinal in the Catholic church.
Tinubu in a statement described the promotion as well-deserved while thanking Pope Francis of the Vatican for approving Okpaleke’s elevation in the Catholic ministry.
As contained in the statement, the APC stalwart stated that the promotion also proved that catholicism in Nigeria was waxing stronger.