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Retired Pope Benedict XVI is ‘very sick’; Pope Francis, Vatican seek prayers


ROME — Pope Francis says his predecessor Benedict XVI is “very ill”, the Vatican says the 95-year-old Benedict XVI’s health has “deteriorated”, and the Catholic Church One of the tallest conservative figures was monitored.

“I ask you all to offer a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict.

In a statement, the Vatican said the situation was “currently under control and constantly monitored by doctors.”

The comment appears to have been an alarming turning point for Benedict.

Pope Benedict leads a reclusive life and stands against Pope Francis

One of Benedict’s close friends spoke candidly about the sensitive issue on condition of anonymity.

“Of course time is not on his side,” said the friend. “There are certainly some concerns.”

After Francis’ general audience, he visited Benedict in a monastery within the ancient walls of the Vatican. The Vatican statement said: [Francis] I pray for the Pope Emeritus. ”

Photos of Benedict released by the Vatican, including one on August 27 after the ceremony to nominate a new cardinal, showed him emaciated and hunched. But his friends say he’s smart.

Benedict’s longtime aide, Archbishop Georg Genswein, did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2013, Benedict resigned as pope for the first time in six centuries. Given that he cited “fading” strength as a factor in his abdication, he has been through the final chapter of a long retirement. In 2018, he told Italian daily Corriere della Sera that he was “on a pilgrimage to his hometown.”

He had pledged to live a reclusive life when he retired. However, his life behind closed doors has become very complicated, complicating the church.

He chose to wear papal white when he retired, and chose not to go back to his real name, Joseph Ratzinger. He was embraced as a symbol by a small but vocal band of traditionalists who claimed that Francis was misleading the church. Although Benedict was often silent on controversial issues, he intervened several times, including refuting Francis’ ideas about the nature of clerical abuse, and later contested the high-profile exception regarding clerical celibacy. .

At the same time, he made it clear that there is only one supreme authority in the Church.

Francis and Benedict have a public warm relationship, with the current Pope regularly citing his predecessor and citing him in words of praise. has fueled years of intrigue about their relationship while also influencing

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On one point—the issue of resignation—Francis described Benedict as a clear-eyed trendsetter. He said Benedict’s decision “should not be considered an exception” and that Benedict “opened the door” for other popes to follow. But I’m guessing that if Benedict were alive, Francis would be hesitant to resign, given that it would be a headache for a church with two former popes. But Benedict’s death may finally allow Francis, 86, to consider resigning.

Benedict became one of the Church’s principal theologians by upholding orthodox policy, leading a campaign against change brought about by outside forces, first as a cardinal and then as pope. I was. His view was that if the church were to yield to the whims of modern times, its teaching would weaken.

His tenure as Pope coincided with one of its greatest crises, an escalating wave of clergy abuse cases. And although Benedict went further than his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, by dismissing hundreds of priests, it took him time to realize the systemic nature of the problem. .

More recently, a German investigation commissioned by the Church, which accused Benedict of “cheating” in the handling of several cases while he was running the Munich Archdiocese, has damaged his reputation.