Damian Thompson writes what we all suspected: our beloved Benedict XVI is fading fast. In the video with Francis, he appeared very frail and, in my opinion, nearly blind. Here’s what Thompson writes:
I think all of us were distressed by the fragility of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when we saw him greet his successor, Pope Francis. The footage was almost too painful to watch. Now, according to the excellent Fr Ray Blake, a Spanish newspaper says he is suffering from something “very severe”, and that “we won’t have us with him for very much longer”. His condition has apparently continued to decline. I thought twice about repeating this, but I’m sure Catholics and others would wish to pray for the man many of us regard as the most inspiring pope of modern times. No pontiff for centuries has written and preached so brilliantly about the relationships between liturgy, evangelism and the shape of history. If only he had been a younger man when he was elected to the chair of St Peter!
Pray for his comfort and peace at the last.
I consider myself blessed to have lived at the same time as this great man. Although I will miss him, his work for us will not end as he brings our prayers before the heavenly Father.
Vatican City, Apr 10, 2013 / 12:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi says that contrary to a report in the Spanish daily El Mundo, the Bishop-emeritus of Rome, Benedict XVI, is not suffering from any illness.
The report in El Mundo by Rocio Galvan quotes statements made by Spanish Vaticanista Paloma Gomez-Borrero in Madrid during the presentation of her most recent book.
“Benedict XVI has something very serious. In 15 days his physical condition has deteriorated tremendously, that’s the news I have,” Gomez-Borrero said.
In comments to CNA on April 10, however, Fr. Lombardi underscored that Benedict XVI “does not have any illness” and that “this has been certified by his doctors.”
For Fr. Lombardi to say that Benedict “does not have any illness” after the video we’ve already seen–and the fact of his resignation–seems like overstatement. Let us hope that whatever the case, Pope Benedict is at peace and comfortable, and let us continue to keep praying for that peace and comfort.