Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is ‘lucid and vigilant’ but remains in serious condition, Vatican says

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is «lucid and vigilant,» the Vatican said Thursday, but remains in serious condition.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Benedict «managed to rest well last night» and that his health «is stable at the moment.»

«Pope Francis renews the invitation to pray for him and accompany him in these difficult hours,» he said.

Benedict, 95, has been receiving medical attention after the Holy See announced on Wednesday that his health had suddenly «deteriorated». Bruni said it was due to Benedict’s age.

In 2013, Benedict became the first pope in more than 600 years to resign, citing his age and waning strength. His resignation came amid the clerical sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the church.

In January, an independent report found that Benedict had failed to act in four sexual assault cases when he was Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982. He later apologized for his handling of the cases but did not admit wrongdoing.

The former pope has been living in the Vatican since he resigned and has remained relatively out of the public eye.