Pope Francis asks for prayers for ‘very sick’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Francis on Wednesday said his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, is “very sick,” and he asked the faithful to pray for the retired pontiff so God will comfort him “to the very end.”

Francis didn’t elaborate on the condition of Benedict, who resigned as pontiff in February 2013, the first pope to retire in 600 years.

“I’d like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Emeritus Pope Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the church,’’ Francis said in remarks near the end of an hour-long audience.

“I remind you that he is very sick.”

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