Former pope Benedict shared ‘great affinity’ with the late Queen

Pope Benedict had ‘admired’ the monarch (Picture: PA)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shared a ‘great affinity’ with the Queen, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster has revealed.

The 95-year-old admired the Queen for continuing her royal duties until the end, according to the Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Benedict himself made the historic decision to step down due ‘old age’ back in 2013.

The comments from Cardinal Nichols comments come after the Vatican warned the former pope’s health had been worsening.

Doctors are constantly monitoring his condition.

Cardinal Nichols told Times Radio: ‘I think there was a great affinity between Pope Benedict and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

‘When Benedict decided to come to this country, he decided that the first thing he had to do was visit the Queen. And she was 95, she held her office to the end and I think he admired that very much.

‘It was a measure of his self-understanding and the difficulties he was getting into physically as well that he said no, it needs somebody else to do this.’

Prince Philip and The Duke of Edinburgh looks on (left) as Queen Elizabeth II talks with Pope Benedict XVI exchange gifts during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 16, 2010. The Pope is on a four-day visit to the United Kingdom. See PA story RELIGION Pope. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Pope Benedict has been suffering from ill health, with doctors ‘constantly monitoring’ his condition (Picture: PA)

File photo dated 16/09/10 of Queen Elizabeth II talking with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh during a four day visit by the Pope to the UK. Issue date: Sunday January 30, 2022. PA Photo. This is one of seventy photos marking the Queen's 70 years on the throne that have been compiled by the PA news agency to celebrate the monarch's Platinum Jubilee. See PA story ROYAL Jubilee Photos. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire / jjbb edit

Cardinal Nichols also described the former pope as ‘God’s Rottweiler’ (Picture: PA)

The former pope was also described as ‘God’s Rottweiler’ by the Cardinal.

He said: ‘I met Pope Benedict on quite a number of occasions, and he was a very sensitive, a very thoughtful person, who was a great theologian.

‘But he was always so courteous. When he came to this country in 2011 he was described as “God’s Rottweiler”, but by the time he left I think he was considered to be everybody’s great uncle.

‘There was a real gentleness about him, and. when I saw him just over a year ago – September last year – that hadn’t changed. He was very, very weak, but very bright and very alert and very with it.’

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