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Are we about to lose Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fans of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI may be upset to hear that Vatican observer, Paloma Gomez Borerro has suggested that Benedict doesn't have long to live. Pointing to his frail health and recent signs of weakening, some observers agree with the assessment.

ROME, ITALY (Catholic Online) - Pope Emeritus Benedict is enjoying his last weeks at Castel Gandolfo, as he waits to transfer to a Vatican monastery where he will "remain hidden from the world" and finish his days in a life of prayer and contemplation.

However, how many days those are remains to be seen. Benedict has appeared increasingly frail over the past few years, and started walking with a cane last year.

Borerro, speaking at a promotional event for a new book written about the transition from Benedict to Francis said that the Pope Emeritus has significantly deteriorated within the past 15 days. If true, it would mark a rapid decline.

Pope Emeritus Benedict has privately struggled with his health over the past several years. He has a pacemaker, his vision is poorer, and he walks with an increasingly stooped posture. Benedict himself cited his deteriorating health as a reason for his resignation.

Although some have blamed Benedict's decision to resign on discord within the Holy See and scandal, the true reason may very well be the one that was given. Benedict is an elderly man who has worked hard all his life to serve the faithful.

Like any man who has toiled long, he is weary and deserving of rest.

When he is called forth, we expect his homecoming to also be an occasion of celebration. While we will be sorrowful for his earthly departure, we should be happy for the union of his hard-working soul with God.

In the meantime, Benedict still lives and although he does not reign, he can still do much by way of prayerful living for the rest of us. He has already met with Pope Francis and shared his inside knowledge with him. So long as Benedict lives, he serves, even if just by prayer. For as Milton wrote in his twilight years, "they also serve who stand and wait."

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