Health & Fit Pope Emeritus Benedict's health worsens, Vatican says
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Providing housing to people who are chronically homeless, and women who are pregnant or who have a newborn child, is particularly important.His medical care was costing about $11,000 a month.
The health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has worsened in the last few hours, a Vatican official said on Wednesday.
"The situation at the moment remains under control and is constantly followed by doctors," Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni told reporters, adding that he could "confirm that in the last few hours there has been an worsening of his condition due to advancing age."
The comments came after Pope Francis asked for prayers in his morning audience for Benedict, who is 95.
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"I ask to all of you a special prayer for the Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the church," the pope said.
Francis visited his predecessor, who resigned in 2013, in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery later in the day, Bruni said.
"We join him in praying for the Pope Emeritus," Bruni said.
The Vatican last releasedof Benedict in August, when the newest cardinals visited with him as part of a tradition that’s been ongoing since Francis became pope.
Benedict’s condition reportedly had worsened in the days before Christmas, according to Italian news agency ANSA, which cited “qualified sources.” ANSA reported Benedict had begun to suffer from “respiratory problems” in the days before the holiday.
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Benedict spent Christmas at his residence in the Vatican at the former Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where a Christmas mass was celebrated for him in the little chapel in his home, ANSA reported.
ABC News' Joe Simonetti contributed to this report.
What happens when a pope emeritus dies? .
Benedict XVI, whose health was reported to have dramatically worsened on Wednesday, is the first living former pope in some six centuries.From the archives (September 2015): 14 things to know about Pope Francis