The Vatican has confirmed that the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has encountered a sudden decline in his health but is now stable and under medical care.
Matteo Bruni, the Holy See Press Office director, disclosed the development to journalists on Wednesday.
Bruni said Pope Francis had asked for prayers for Benedict’s health.
He added that Pope Francis visited the 95-year-old pope emeritus where he lives, in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, after his general audience on Wednesday morning.
“I can confirm that in the last few hours, there has been a worsening due to advancing age,” he said.
Bruni also quoted Pope Francis saying the former Pope is “very sick, asking the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end”.