Pope Benedict: Critical hours for the 95-year-old former Pontiff – Pope Francis visited him

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The Vatican today confirmed the deterioration of the former pope’s health, clarifying that he remains under medical observation

The Vatican confirmed today the deterioration of the health of former Pope Benedict, 95, saying he remains under medical observation and that he received a visit from his successor Francis.

“I can confirm that in the last few hours, there has been a deterioration due to his advanced age. The situation remains currently under control, under constant monitoring by doctors,” said the Holy See’s head of press services, Matteo Bruni, in a statement.

Earlier today, Pope Francis, at the end of Wednesday’s general audience, asked the faithful to pray for the former pontiff, saying he is “very ill.”

After his historic resignation in 2013, Benedict lives in a former monastery within the Vatican gardens with his secretary, a few aides and medical staff.

One of the last known photos of Benedict was taken on December 1 when he met the winners of a prize for theologians named after him. He was sitting down and looked extremely weak.

Until a few weeks ago, those who had seen him said that physically he looked frail but that he continued to be sharp and witty.

Pope Benedict’s latest message was uploaded to his official Twitter account a few hours ago and reads:

“In front of the sad images of the injustices committed against human life, before and after birth, I make my own impassioned appeal of Pope John Paul II to the responsibility of each one: “respect, protect, love and serve life, every human Zoe!”

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