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Pope Emeritus Benedict’s health worsens, Vatican says

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Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

(ROME) — The health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has worsened in the last few hours, a Vatican official said on Wednesday.

“The situation at the moment remains under control and is constantly followed by doctors,” Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni told reporters, adding that he could “confirm that in the last few hours there has been an worsening of his condition due to advancing age.”

The comments came after Pope Francis asked for prayers in his morning audience for Benedict, who is 95.

“I ask to all of you a special prayer for the Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the church,” the pope said.

Francis visited his predecessor, who resigned in 2013, in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery later in the day, Bruni said.

“We join him in praying for the Pope Emeritus,” Bruni said.

The Vatican last released video footage of Benedict in August, when the newest cardinals visited with him as part of a tradition that’s been ongoing since Francis became pope.

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