Wednesday 18 October 2017

Pope Francis visits Benedict for festive prayers

Pope Francis being greeted by his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Photo: EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO
Pope Francis being greeted by his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Photo: EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Dean Gray, Rome

Pope Francis made a Christmas visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict yesterday and said he found his 86-year-old predecessor looking well, according to television footage released by the Vatican.

Pope Francis, who was elected in March, spent about 30 minutes with Benedict in an ex-convent on the Vatican grounds where the former pope has been living in near isolation.

"It's a pleasure to see you looking so well," Francis told Benedict, who in February became the first pope in 600 years to step down.

Television footage released by the Vatican -- only the fourth time Benedict has been filmed since his resignation -- showed him looking alert and in better health than on previous occasions.

He greeted Pope Francis (77) at the door of the residence, standing with an ivory-handled wooden cane. They walked to a chapel where they stood and prayed before speaking privately in another room.

When Pope Francis left Benedict, he said, "Merry Christmas, pray for me". Benedict responded, "Always, always, always".

Benedict resigned on February 28.

Irish Independent

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