Pope Francis says predecessor Benedict is very ill - BBC News

Pope Francis has said former Pope Benedict XVI is very ill and he has asked pilgrims at the Vatican to pray for him.

Benedict, 95, became the first leader of the Catholic Church to stand down in 600 years in 2013, citing advanced age.

At the end of the Pope’s final audience of the year, he asked people to "pray a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict".

The Vatican then said the ex-Pope’s health had worsened in recent hours.

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