Pope Francis Seeks Prayer For His Predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Francis has said his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI is very ill and he has asked pilgrims at the Vatican to pray for him.

95-year-old Benedict, became the first leader of the Catholic Church to stand down in 600 years in 2013, citing advanced age.

At the end of the Pope’s final audience of the year, he asked people to “pray a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict”.

The Vatican then said the ex-pope’s health had worsened in recent hours.

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“The situation at the moment remains under control, constantly followed by doctors,” said spokesman Matteo Bruni.

Pope Francis was addressing a general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall when he spoke about Benedict’s declining health.

He then went to visit him at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where Benedict has lived since he stepped down, and a short walk from the audience hall within the Vatican Gardens.

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