Saturday, January 28, 2023

Benedict XVI’s health worrying

VATICAN CITY. – Pope Francis yesterday asked for prayers for the health of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who is in frail health.

“I want to ask all of you to make a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict (…), to remember him, because he is very ill, to ask God to comfort and support him,” Francis said at last. General audience in the room of Paul VI in the Vatican.

The Vatican announced the health of the 95-year-old pope emeritus had deteriorated and indicated he had a chance to meet Francis at the monastery where he lives.

“I can confirm that in the last few hours he has suffered due to his advanced age. The situation is currently under control, being permanently followed by doctors,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the press service of the Holy See said in a statement.

The pope emeritus, German Joseph Ratzinger, became the first pope in six centuries to resign in 2013, and has since lived away from the public spotlight in a monastery located in the Vatican gardens, where he is often seen in a chair. the wheel. The hierarchy argued that he was resigning because his age prevented him from devoting the energy he required to his position.

In recent months, his health has deteriorated greatly. He barely speaks with a small voice – he himself has said that God took his voice to appreciate the silence – and he doesn’t walk either, although all those who have been close to him speak of his amazing clarity. We do.

Until now, Francis had never asked for prayers for the health of the pope emeritus, so his words raised concerns. Vatican spokesmen usually do not report on Benedict XVI’s health, except in 2020, when he had to deny that the pope’s condition was worrying after learning that he was suffering from herpes on his face. was very “painful”, but not serious”. Discretion and silence have always prevailed. On the other hand, no announcement was made last July, when it was erroneously spread on social networks that Benedict had died. .

The most recent photograph of the emeritus was published by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation on 1 December, when he received at his residence two winners of the award that bears his name, the French biblical scholar Michel Fedou and the Jewish jurist Joseph Weiler. As in previous images, he appeared to be sitting next to his faithful secretary on a sofa and was very thin, but attentive, for conversation.

After an eight-year pontificate (2005-2013), marked by several crises, the renowned theologian was hit hard by the child sex abuse drama in the German Catholic Church in early 2022. Ratzinger, who was born in April 1927, was singled out in a report on the handling of these abuses in Germany when he was archbishop of Munich, and asked to apologize for his silence, assuring that he had Never covered for any misbehavior.

Before being named archbishop, he taught theology for 25 years. He later became the dogmatic custodian of the Catholic Church in Rome for another quarter of a century. His nickname of the Rottweiler of God dates to his defense of the Catholic Church’s most conservative positions from that time, including a firm rejection of abortion, homosexuality – he came to compare gay marriage to the Antichrist – and euthanasia. He was a staunch opponent of the Liberation Theology that emerged in Latin America.

Many of his statements are controversial, such as when he criticized Islam by quoting a Byzantine emperor who said: “Show me what Muhammad brought back and you will find only evil and inhumane things.” In 2009, he assured that the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS “does not solve the problem, but exacerbates the situation.”

When he took office, many remembered that as a teenager he had been a member of the Hitler Youth; He was also called a Nazi. However, he confirms that, like many other Germans, he had to enter that group because it was compulsory, a version confirmed by historians and experts.

Experts believe that, when necessary, Benedict XVI’s funeral rituals will be similar to those of the Bishop of Rome: a funeral in St. Peter’s Basilica or in a piazza, in this case presided over by Francis rather than the Dean of the College. . – and will be buried in the cave under the basilica.

they ask for your health

Leaders from around the world, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, expressed their well wishes to Benedict XVI. In Mexico, the Archbishop Primate of Mexico, Carlos Aguiar Retes, asked via Twitter for the health of the Pope Emeritus.

Nation World News Desk
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