What happens when an emeritus pope dies, and what the exact funeral protocol would be, were among the questions raised when Pope Francis announced yesterday that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, is “very sick” and asked for prayers.
Speaking during his Dec. 28 General Audience, Pope Francis asked faithful to “say a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is supporting the Church” and who he said “is very sick.” He asked that God would “console him and support him, in this witness of love for the Church, until the end.”
Pope Francis later visited Benedict XVI at his residence in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery of the Vatican Gardens, where Benedict, 95, has resided since he renounced the papacy in 2013.
A subsequent statement from Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that “in the past few hours there has been an aggravation” in Benedict’s condition due to his advanced age, but that “the situation at the moment is under control,” and that Benedict is being continually monitored by his doctors.
Read on below…Unknowns surround Vatican protocol for death of a pope emeritus | Crux