Pope Benedict Sick: Pope Francis said that Pope Benedict, the pope before him and is 95 years old and stepped down nine years ago, is “very sick” after his health worsened on Wednesday.
“I want to ask you all to say a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who keeps the Church going even though he doesn’t say much. “He is very sick,” Francis said Wednesday at the Vatican during his general audience.
“We ask the Lord to comfort him and keep him going until the end as he shows his love for the Church.” A Vatican spokesman later confirmed that “Benedict’s health has gotten worse in the last few hours because of his age.”
Matteo Bruni, the Vatican’s spokesman, said, “The situation is still under control and being closely watched by his doctors.” He also noted that Francis went to see his predecessor at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in Vatican City after his general audience.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC, asked Catholics and “people of goodwill” to pray for Pope Benedict XVI. “He did many things for our Church: he was a priest, a scholar, a diocesan bishop, a curial official, and the Pope. Gregory said this about Benedict: “May Christ reward him for his kind service.”
Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world in 2013 when he quit his job, citing “advanced age.” This was rarely done before. When Benedict said he was stepping down, it was the first time a pope had done so in almost 600 years.
Gregory XII was the last pope to resign before he died. He did so in 1415 to stop a civil war in the Catholic Church, where more than one person claimed to be the pope. After German news outlets said Benedict was sick in 2020, the Vatican said he had a “painful but not serious condition.”
Two years earlier, Benedict wrote in a rare public letter published in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, “As my physical strength slowly fades, I am on an inner pilgrimage toward home.” Benedict’s legacy has been tarnished by recent attention paid to his time as Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982.
This is because, in January, a Church-ordered report about abuse by Catholic clergy in that area came out. The report said that he knew about four cases of sexual abuse of minors, two of which happened while he was in Munich, but did nothing about them.
He also went to a meeting about an abusive priest. Benedict later pushed back against these claims. He admitted that he had been at the meeting but denied that he had tried to hide his presence on purpose.
In a statement to CNN, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) talked about how people may have “mixed feelings” about Benedict. “Unfortunately, many clergy abuse victims still have a long way to go before they can heal and get the justice they deserve,” SNAP wrote.
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