Vatican gives update on ex-pope Benedict’s ill health

Vatican says the condition of ailing former Pope Benedict XV remains “grave” but stable.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in a statement issued on Thursday, said Pope Francis again called for prayers for the former pontiff.

“The Pope Emeritus managed to rest well during the night, he is absolutely lucid and aware, and today, even though his condition remains grave, the situation is at the moment stable.

“Pope Francis renews his request to pray for him and to accompany him in these difficult hours,” Bruni said.

The statement, the second since Francis disclosed on Wednesday that his predecessor was “very sick”, did not provide any specifics about Benedict’s condition.

Benedict is being cared for in a former convent in the Vatican where he has been living since 2013, when he became the first pope in about 600 years to resign instead of being in office for life.

On Wednesday, Francis revealed that Benedict was “very ill” and went to see him at Benedict’s home in the Vatican Gardens where he has lived since he retired. The Vatican later said that the health of the former head of the Roman Catholic Church had deteriorated in recent hours but that the situation was under control as doctors monitored him.

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