Former Pope Benedict Is Stable But Still In Serious Condition, Vatican Says

Former Pope Benedict Is Stable But Still In Serious Condition: Despite being “lucid and watchful,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s condition is nonetheless critical, the Vatican stated in a statement on Thursday.

Director of the Vatican communications office Matteo Bruni said in a statement that although the situation is now stable, the patient is “completely conscious and aware.”

Pope Francis extends the call to prayer and to be with him during these trying times.

After a decline in health, Pope Francis declared on Wednesday that his 95-year-old predecessor was “extremely unwell.”

“I would like to request that everyone say a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who upholds the Church via his quiet. Francis stated during his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday that the man was seriously ill. We pray that the Lord would comfort him and keep him going strong as he continues to show his love for the Church.

Later on Wednesday, a Vatican official revealed that Benedict’s condition had deteriorated “in the last few hours” and that Francis had paid Benedict a visit at the Mater Ecclesiae convent in Vatican City.

Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world in 2013 when he announced his resignation from the papacy, citing his “advanced age” as the reason.

The news of Benedict’s resignation was the first resignation of a pope in nearly 600 years. Gregory XII, the last pope to step down before dying, did so in 1415 to put an end to a papal succession dispute within the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI (R) and Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice, greet the audience gathering in St. Mark’s Square on May 7, 2011, in Venice, Italy, as they ride across the square in an electric car. Approximately 26 years after his predecessor Pope John Paul II’s previous trip to Venice, Pope Benedict XVI is currently in the city through May 8.

Following allegations in German media that Benedict was unwell, the Vatican stated in 2020 that he had a “painful but not dangerous ailment.”

Two years previously, Benedict stated that “with the progressive diminishing of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home” in a rare public letter that was published in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

For many years, Benedict has been a significant figure in the Catholic Church.

Joseph Ratzinger, who was born in Germany in 1927, was ordained as a priest in 1951, elected a cardinal in 1977, and later served as Pope John Paul II’s top doctrinal advisor. After John Paul II’s passing in April 2005, he was chosen to become the 265th pope.

At the height of the global controversy regarding Catholic clergy sexual abuse, when the church was being torn apart by allegations of sexual assault and accompanying legal actions, Benedict was elected pope.

After a Church-commissioned inquiry into abuse by Catholic clergy there was published in January, recent criticism of his tenure as Archbishop of Munich and Freising, between 1977 and 1982, cast doubt on his legacy.

According to the investigation, he was made aware of four instances of child sex abuse, including two that occurred while he was living in Munich, but did nothing about them. He also admitted to attending a meeting concerning a predatory priest.

Later, Benedict responded to those accusations by acknowledging his attendance at the meeting but refuting claims that he did so on purpose.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said in a statement on Wednesday that many people would have “mixed sentiments” about Benedict’s life. Unfortunately, many victims of clergy abuse are still struggling to recover from their injuries and obtain the justice they are due, according to SNAP.

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