Pope Francis asks for “special prayers” for Pope Benedict XVI who he says “is very ill’.

At the end of the General Audience on Wednesday, 28 December, Pope Francis asks for “special prayers” for Benedict XVI “who is very ill”.

The Holy See press office director confirms there has been an aggravation in his conditions but says the situation is stable.

Concluding the General Audience on Wednesday morning Pope Francis asked the faithful for a “special prayer” for his 95-year-old predecessor, the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

“May the Lord sustain him in this witness of love for the Church until the end.”

Answering questions put to him by journalists, the director of the Vatican Press Office, Matteo Bruni confirmed that, “In the last few hours there has been an aggravation of his health due to advancing age.”

He added that the situation “at the moment remains under control,” and that the Pope Emeritus is constantly monitored by doctors.

Bruni also said that after the General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis went to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican where Benedict XVI resides.

“We join him in prayer for the Pope Emeritus,” Bruni said.

Source: Vatican Media