Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is “lucid and vigilant,” the Vatican said Thursday, but still remains in serious condition.
Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said that 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 to accompany him in these difficult hours,” he said.
Benedict, 95, has been receiving medical care after the Holy See announced Wednesday that his health had suddenly “worsened.” 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 declining strength. His resignation came amid the clerical sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the church.
In January, an independent report found that Benedict had failed to act in four cases of sexual assault when he was the archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982. He later apologized for his handling of the cases but did not admit any wrongdoing.
The ex-pope has been living in the Vatican since he stepped down, and has relatively remained out of the public eye.
Minyvonne Burke is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.