Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls issued a press release today stating that "the general conditions and cardio-respiratory conditions of the Holy Father have further worsened."

"A gradual worsening arterial hypotension has been noted, and breathing has become shallow," explained the statement.

"The clinical picture indicates cardio-circulatory and renal insufficiency," it added.

"The biological parameters are notably affected. The Holy Father, with visible participation, associates himself to the continual prayers of those assisting him," concluded Navarro Valls.