UPDATED: Pope hopes critically ill Napolitano finds ‘comfort’

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Pope Francis said on Wednesday that he was thinking of former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, whose already serious health condition has deteriorated over the last few days.

“I urge you to spare a thought for President Napolitano, who is in serious health condition,” the pontiff said at the end of his weekly general audience.

“May this servant of the country have comfort”.

The condition of ailing 98-year-old former Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, which has already been critical for some time in a Rome clinic, has got worse over the last two days, sources said.

Napolitano, who served two terms between 2006 and 2015 to become Italy’s longest serving president and whose dominance of the political scene earned him the nickname King George, was admitted to the clinic shortly after turning 98 on June 29.

He served as interior minister before becoming a life Senator and being elected head of State, Italy’s first post-Communist president, in 2006.

Napolitano, a noted Anglophile, was one of the most prominent moderate reformers in the once-powerful Italian Communist Party (PCI), the largest Communist party in western Europe.


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