Former Pope Benedict is awake and aware but his health is still terrible


Former Pope Benedict is awake and aware but his health is still terrible; the Vatican issued a health update on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday, saying that he is “lucid and vigilant” but that his condition remains grave.

Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, said, “He is extremely lucid and vigilant, and today while his health is serious, the situation at the moment is stable.”

Pope Francis asks again for prayers and support as he goes through a challenging time.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis declared that his predecessor, the 95-year-old Benedict XVI, was “extremely unwell.”

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Please join me in praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict, whose quiet leadership keeps the Church strong. Francis mentioned this during Wednesday’s public audience at the Vatican, saying, “He is unwell.” “May the Lord provide him peace and strength to continue to bear witness to his love for the Church till the end,” they wrote.

Francis went to see Benedict at the Mater Ecclesiae convent in Vatican City after receiving word that the pope’s health had worsened “in the last few hours,” as a Vatican spokeswoman revealed later Wednesday.

When Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement in 2013, he stunned the world by citing his “advanced age” as the reason.

When Benedict announced his resignation, it had been over 600 years since a pope had done so. Gregory XII was the last pope to resign before his death; he did so in 1415 to end a civil war inside the Catholic Church in which more than one man claimed to be the pope.

For some time now, Benedict’s health has been deteriorating. The Vatican announced in 2020 that Benedict had been diagnosed with a “painful but not dangerous ailment” following rumors in the German press about his health.

Benedict had written, “with the progressive diminishing of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home” in a rare public letter published two years earlier in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

Pope Benedict XVI has significantly influenced the Catholic Church for many years.

German-born Joseph Ratzinger became a priest in 1951, a cardinal in 1977, and Pope John Paul II’s top theological advisor. He was born in 1927. After the passing of Pontiff John Paul II in April 2005, he was chosen to succeed him as the 265th pope.

When Benedict became pope, the Catholic Church was in the midst of a worldwide sexual abuse scandal involving priests, with accusations and lawsuits tearing at the institution and posing a danger to its moral standing.

The publication in January of a Church-commissioned inquiry into abuse by Catholic clergy in Munich and Freising has cast a pall over his career. He served in that role from 1977 to 1982.

Four incidences of sexual abuse involving minors were brought to his attention, two of which occurred during his time in Munich, and he did nothing to address them. According to the study, he also attended a meeting concerning an abusive priest.

Later, when confronted with these claims, Benedict fought back, admitting that he had attended the meeting but claiming that he had deliberately concealed his attendance.

Many people would have “mixed sentiments” regarding Benedict’s life, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stated in a statement released on Wednesday. SNAP lamented that “many victims of clerical abuse are not out of the woods” in terms of recovering from their injuries and receiving justice.