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Prayers up

Pope Francis asks for prayers for 'very sick' Pope Benedict

Pope Francis asked his audience for prayers for his predecessor, Pope Benedict, on Wednesday at the Vatican, describing the 95-year-old as "very sick," CNN reports.

Benedict, who served as the head of the Church from 2005 until his resignation in 2013, is experiencing a "deterioration due to the advancement of [his] age," a spokesman subsequently confirmed, adding, "the situation at the moment remains under control and continually monitored by his doctors."

In 2018, Benedict, then 90, wrote a letter to the public describing himself as "inwardly … on a pilgrimage toward Home," and the Vatican reported he suffered from a "painful but not serious condition" in 2020.