Pope Benedict's condition 'grave' but stable says Vatican

The Vatican said that the former Pope's condition was grave but stable.
The Vatican said that the former Pope's condition was grave but stable.

Pope Francis renewed his request for people to pray and accompany the former pope in his time of need

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Former Pope Benedict's condition remains "grave" but stable, the Vatican said on Thursday, adding in a statement that he had rested well during the night and was lucid and aware.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said: “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 renewed his request for people to pray and accompany the former pope in his time of need
Pope Francis renewed his request for people to pray and accompany the former pope in his time of need

"Pope Francis renews his request to pray for him and to accompany him in these difficult hours," he added.

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 ruling for life.

Benedict, the first German pope in 1,000 years, was elected on April 19, 2005 to succeed the widely popular Pope John Paul II, who reigned for 27 years. Cardinals chose him from among their number seeking continuity and what one called "a safe pair of hands".

Benedict produced more than 60 books between 1963, when he was a priest, and 2013, when he resigned. "In reality I am more of a professor, a person who reflects and meditates on spiritual questions," Benedict said after his resignation.