Francis calls on Benedict before leaving for Rio

AP News
Posted: Jul 19, 2013 12:33 PM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has visited Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI ahead of his trip to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day — a trip Benedict had planned to make before retiring in February.

The Vatican said Francis spent about a half-hour Friday with Benedict and asked him for his prayers for the July 22-28 trip. Francis gave Benedict the booklet outlining the program as well as the commemorative medal that has been prepared for the trip.

Benedict participated in three World Youth Day events: in Cologne, Germany, soon after he was elected in 2005; in Sydney, Australia, in 2008; and Madrid, Spain, in 2011.

His doctors reportedly warned him against making the transatlantic flight to Rio for the 2013 edition, one of the reasons behind his decision to retire.