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Vatican officials have confirmed that the health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has worsened after Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for his predecessor.

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“Regarding the health conditions of the emeritus pope, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of his general audience this morning, I can confirm that in the last hours, a worsening due to advanced age has happened,″ Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said in a written statement, according to The Associated Press.

Pope Francis had gone to the monastery where the 95-year-old former pope lives since his retirement in 2013.

Benedict now lives at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, BBC News reported.

The Vatican said that Benedict’s health is being “constantly monitored by doctors.”

Pope Francis had asked for prayers for Benedict on Wednesday during his general audience.

“I want to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict who sustains the Church in his silence. He is very sick,” Francis said, according to CNN. “We ask the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church to the very end.”

Benedict resigned in an unprecedented move — a first in almost 600 years — citing advanced age. Pope Gregory XII was the previous pope who resigned from the papacy when he stepped down in 1415 to end a civil war within the Catholic Church, CNN reported. At the time more than one person claimed to be the pope.

Benedict served less than eight years, BBC News reported.

In 2018, Benedict wrote that “in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home.”

Benedict’s service to the church has come under scrutiny, especially his time when he served as Archbishop of Munich and Freising after a Church-commissioned report into abuse by clergy members was released.

The report found that he knew of four cases of sexual abuse of minors while serving as archbishop but he did not act and that he attended a meeting about one priest.

Benedict said he did attend the meeting but did not intentionally conceal his attendance, CNN reported.