Pope Francis: “Let us pray for Benedict XVI, he is very ill”

Vatican spokesman: “Ratzinger’s condition aggravated by age, situation followed by doctors”

“I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict who is silently supporting the Church”. So Pope Francis in this morning’s general audience meeting groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.

“Remember him, he is very ill, and we ask the Lord to console him and support him in this testimony of love for the Church until the end”, he continued.

“Regarding the health conditions of the Pope Emeritus, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of this morning’s general audience, I can confirm that in the last few hours there has been an aggravation due to advancing age. The situation at the moment it remains under control, followed constantly by doctors”, said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni. At the end of the general audience, he explains, “Pope Francis went to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery to visit Benedict XVI. We join him in praying for the Pope Emeritus.”