Pope Francis’ health raises concerns again during Easter celebrations

Pope Francis health raises concerns again during Easter celebrations

The Pope canceled his participation in the Stations of the Cross at the last minute on Friday March 29. An announcement which raises questions about his state of health.

Concern threatens the Vatican. Friday March 29, Pope Francis canceled at the last second his participation in the Stations of the Cross which was to take place at the Colosseum in Rome. The reason given: his health. “This is a simple precautionary measure,” wanted to reassure a Vatican source, reports Le Figaro. The health of the head of the Catholic Church, who is said to be “in good shape”, gave rise to “no particular concern”. “We are disappointed. That is understandable, but it is sad, because his presence this evening was important,” reacted a 17-year-old Italian scout who came from Genoa (north-west) for the occasion.

It must be said that the Pope, aged 87, had a busy week in view of the celebration of Easter, the main highlight of the Catholic calendar. Already in the afternoon, the Argentine Jesuit had presided over the celebration of Good Friday in Saint Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican. The day before, he had gone on a walkabout after washing the feet of twelve inmates in a prison in Rome. And this weekend, the Pope must ensure, this Saturday, March 30, the vigil of Holy Saturday before leading the much-anticipated Easter Sunday service.

The Pope has no “serious reason” to give up

However, the cancellation of his presence on Friday evening contributed to rekindling questions about his ability to remain at the head of the Church, relays the French daily. Pope Francis has had more health problems in recent years. In 2023, Jorge Bergoglio, his baptismal name, had already been absent during the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. He also canceled his appearance at COP 28 in Dubai in December due to bronchitis and had abdominal surgery in June.

Although he has always left “the door open” to a possible renunciation, like his predecessor Benedict XVI, in his autobiography, published this month, Pope Francis, who now uses a wheelchair due to of his problems with his knees, hips and colon, reiterated that he had no “serious reason” to give up his position. According to the Pope, this would only be a “remote hypothesis” which would only be justified in the event of a “serious physical impediment”.