Home Christian News Vatican: Benedict XVI Lucid, Stable, but Condition ‘Serious’

Vatican: Benedict XVI Lucid, Stable, but Condition ‘Serious’

“Obviously it is a bad situation, we are all close to Pope Ratzinger, we are sad about the situation, so we came here to make our small contribution,” said one pilgrim, Giorgio Gibin.

Another visitor to the square, Anna Małcka, noted Benedict’s advanced age and wished him well.

“I think by now he has lived about long enough, poor thing, and since he is sick, he is not well, if God wishes, he will take him away,” she said.

Otherwise, while the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano headlined its Thursday editions with news of Benedict’s health, life continued as normal in the tiny city-state that Benedict and Pope Francis call home.

Francis had a seemingly routine day of audiences Thursday, meeting with his ambassador to Madagascar, the commander of the Swiss Guards and a fellow Jesuit.

In the square, the line of tourists waiting to get into St. Peter’s Basilica wrapped almost entirely around the piazza, with couples and families stopping to pose for selfies in front of the life-sized Nativity scene and Christmas tree set up in the square.

Small groups of nuns hurried across the cobblestones and tour guides holding flags herded their charges, while nearby souvenir sellers did brisk business hawking Vatican magnets, rosaries and bobblehead Francis statues.

“We hadn’t heard the news,” said Liam Marchesano, a 22-year-old economics student from Mantova who was waiting to see the basilica with his girlfriend. “Maybe that’s why there’s such a long line.”

___

Luigi Navarra and Joel Paqui contributed.

This article originally appeared on APNews.com.