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Pope Francis Calls for Prayer for Retired Pope Benedict XVI: 'He's Very Sick'


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The Vatican says Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is lucid, conscious, and stable, but remains in serious condition – just one day after he called for prayers for his predecessor.

"I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Emeritus Pope Benedict, who is sustaining the church in silence," Francis said in St. Peter's Square Wednesday.

"Let us remember him -- he's very sick -- asking the lord to console him, sustain him in this witness of love to the church, until the end," he added.

The 95-year-old's health has deteriorated recently and many fear that he is near death. 

Benedict shocked the world when he broke a 600-year-old tradition by retiring and taking on the title of an emeritus pope. 

Since his retirement in 2013, Benedict has lived a fairly secluded life, limited to writing books and articles and meeting a select number of friends, fans, and acquaintances, Religion News Service reports.

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Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that Benedict "managed to rest well last night, is absolutely lucid and conscious and today, while his condition remains grave, the situation at the moment is stable."

"Pope Francis renews the invitation to pray for him and accompany him in these difficult hours," Bruni added.

The diocese of Rome has scheduled a special Mass in honor of Benedict on Friday at St. John Lateran, Benedict's former basilica in his capacity as the bishop of Rome in response to that call. 

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About The Author


Talia Wise serves as a multi-media producer for CBN News Newswatch, and social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia attended Regent University where she earned a Master’s in Journalism and the University of Virginia. She lives in Newport News, Virginia.