Vatican: Benedict in stable condition, participated in Mass

Dec 29, 2022, 4:23 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 10:30 am
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, third from left, meets with the winners of the 2022 Ratzinger Prize, Jo...

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, third from left, meets with the winners of the 2022 Ratzinger Prize, Joseph Halevi Horowitz Weiler, left, and father Michel Fedou, partially hidden at right, at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery inside the Vatican where Benedict XVI lives, in this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Second from left, is the foundation's president Father Federico Lombardi, and fourth from left is Benedict XVI's long-time personal secretary Bishop Georg Gänswein. (Fondazione Vaticana J.Ratzinger via AP)

(Fondazione Vaticana J.Ratzinger via AP)

ROME (AP) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was in stable condition Friday after suffering a decline in his health and participated in a private Mass in his room, the Vatican said, as the faithful in Rome honored “this last stretch of his pilgrimage.”

The Vatican provided a new medical bulletin Friday afternoon saying Benedict had been able to rest well for a second night.

“He also participated in the celebration of Holy Mass in his room yesterday afternoon,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. “At present his condition is stationary.”

On Wednesday, Pope Francis revealed that his 95-year-old predecessor was “very ill” and he went to see him in his home in the Vatican Gardens. Francis called for prayers for Benedict, resulting in an outpouring of messages of solidarity from rank-and-file Catholics and cardinals alike.

In 2013, Benedict became the first pope in 600 years to resign, saying he no longer had the strength of body or mind to lead the then 1.2-billion-member Catholic Church. His resignation paved the way for Francis’ election.

Benedict, who for decades as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger served the Vatican as its doctrinal guardian, chose to live out his retirement in seclusion in a converted monastery on Vatican City grounds. The German-born churchman was being tended to by a team of doctors and his longtime papal family: his secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, and a few consecrated women who help run the household.

On Friday evening, the cardinal vicar of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, celebrated a special Mass for Benedict in St. John in Lateran Basilica. The monumental basilica was Benedict’s cathedral in his capacity as bishop of Rome when serving as pontiff.

The cardinal hailed Benedict’s qualities, saying he “always demonstrated a great trust in Providence.”

“As priest, theologian, bishop, pope, he expressed, at the same time, the strength and the sweetness of the faith, the essentialness and the simplicity of he who knows that, when you dream with God, dreams become reality,'” De Donatis said in his homily.

Referring to Benedict’s nearly 10 years in retirement from the papacy, De Donatis said that the pope emeritus “even in old age, and in illness, continues to sustain humanity totally offering oneself.”

The pope emeritus was “in profound communion with Pope Francis,” the cardinal said.

Some critics of Francis or of his predecessor have sought to depict the relationship between the retired and reigning pontiffs as a kind of rivalry, but De Donatis’ words seemed aimed at dispelling such a perception.

The homily’s final words resounded almost like a funeral ode.

“When He wants, God will approach this brother of ours in the slumber of death and will say to him, ‘Joseph, get up, Joseph, rise.’

“And it will be Christ and his mother to take him with them and lead him into paradise, where the dream of a life will because the reality of eternity,” the cardinal concluded.

During the Mass, one of the faithful read aloud a prayer asking God to “support and console him with his presence in this last stretch of his pilgrimage.”

Benedict has indicated that when he dies, he would like to be buried in the crypt in the grotto underneath St. Peter’s Basilica once occupied by the tomb of St. John Paul II, which was moved upstairs into the main basilica in recent years.

At the end of Mass, De Donatis said the faithful were entrusting “our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the maternal care” of Jesus’ mother, “because she has promised to be near to her children in the moment of trial.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The Starbucks logo is seen on a storefront, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston Starbucks repor...
Associated Press

Starbucks misses sales, revenue estimates as China falters

Starbucks reported lower-than-expected sales in its fiscal first quarter, with COVID store shutdowns in China overshadowing stronger results elsewhere.
12 hours ago
The Amazon DTW1 fulfillment center is shown in Romulus, Mich., April 1, 2020. Amazon reports financ...
Associated Press

Amazon beats Q4 revenue estimates, but profits slump

Amazon on Thursday reported worse-than-expected profits, but its revenue beat expectations boosted by sales in North America businesses and the cloud-computing unit AWS.
12 hours ago
legislature...
Associated Press

Washington’s low-income tax credit available for first time

 Up to $1,200 is now available for thousands of low-income working Washington residents, thanks to a 2008 law that has finally been funded.
12 hours ago
FILE - Houses dot a hillside in the ski resort town of Vail, Colo., on Oct. 25, 2022. While cities ...
Associated Press

Colorado considers using public land for affordable housing

DENVER (AP) — Police officer Andy Sandoval lives in one the most beautiful places in the world near Vail, Colorado, where world-famous ski resorts are nestled between Rocky Mountain peaks. His living situation for years, though, was far less dreamy. Until last month, the 26-year-old, his wife and their two small children were squeezed into […]
2 days ago
FILE - In this image taken from Minneapolis Police Department body camera video and released by the...
Associated Press

Family of Minneapolis man killed in no-knock raid sues city

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of Amir Locke, who was shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer when a SWAT team executed a no-knock search warrant one year ago, sued the city and the officer Friday, alleging he was “gunned down in cold blood” in violation of his constitutional rights. Locke, 22, who was […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Skull found in ’97 in remote Alaska belongs to New York man

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997 belongs to a New York man who likely died in a bear mauling, state authorities said. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday from Alaska state […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Vatican: Benedict in stable condition, participated in Mass