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Pope Francis greeting Pope Benedict XVI.Twitter

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is reportedly “very ill,” and has been visited today by Pope Francis, after the emeritus Pontiff’s health reportedly worsened today.

At the end of his weekly general audience, Pope Francis delivered an announcement regarding Benedict’s health, asking Catholics for prayers.

“I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who in silence is supporting the Church,” Francis stated. “Remember him – he is very ill – asking the Lord to console him, and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end.”

Vatican News’ social media channels then issued a prayer for Catholics to say for Benedict.

In an additional statement released to the press, Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni stated that Benedict’s condition had worsened during recent hours. “In the last few hours there has been an aggravation of his health due to advancing age,” Bruni stated.

Bruni continued, stating that “the situation at the moment remains under control, constantly monitored by doctors.”

According to Bruni, Francis made a visit to Benedict at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, following the conclusion of Francis’ weekly audience. According to Francis’ recent interview with Spanish news outlet ABC, he visits Benedict “frequently.”

The National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin reported some hours later with more details about the emeritus Pontiff’s ailments. According to the Register’s un-named source, Benedict XVI had been undergoing “kidney failure which has worsened in the last few hours.”

The source added that Benedict had an adjustment made to his “pacemaker about a month and a half ago to regularize his heartbeats,” but this was reportedly un-related to Benedict’s alleged kidney failure.

Benedict has been living mostly in obscurity in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, since his momentous resignation from the Papacy on February 28, 2013. Francis has notably brought the new cardinals to meet Benedict at every consistory, where the new cardinals would receive a blessing from Benedict.

He also joined Francis in the March 25, 2022 consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Following the rollout of the abortion-tainted COVID injections, Benedict joined Francis in taking Pfizer’s COVID jab in January 2021, at the start of the Vatican’s vaccine campaign. Benedict’s secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein later revealed in December 2021 that Benedict had taken three injections at that point.

In recent years, pictures of the emeritus Pope have occasionally emerged, showing a steady decline in his health as he appeared increasingly frail.