Pope Francis, 86, was hospitalized on Wednesday March 29 in Rome for scheduled exams, the Vatican announced, amid recurring questions about the health of the head of the Catholic Church.
The Holy Father has been at (the hospital) Gemelli since this afternoon for previously scheduled checks
," Holy See press service director Matteo Bruni said in a statement, without giving further details. .
The Argentinian Jesuit, who marked his ten years of pontificate in mid-March, participated in the morning at the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square like every Wednesday, during which he appeared smiling, greeting the faithful on board his “
François, who has been in a wheelchair since May 2022 due to chronic knee pain, had already been hospitalized for ten days at Gemelli Hospital in July 2021 for a major colon operation.
Speculation around a resignation
Jorge Bergoglio explained that he had "
" of the anesthesia suffered during this intervention, which led him to rule out the possibility of knee surgery so far.
His knee pain, which notably prompted him to cancel several appointments in 2022 and to postpone a trip to Africa, is at the heart of speculation around a possible resignation.
He always left the door open to this scenario, like his predecessor Benedict XVI, who had resigned, taking the whole world by surprise.
In July, François had confided that he could “no
” at the same pace as before, even mentioning the possibility of “
putting himself aside
But in February, however, he felt that the renunciation of a pope should "
not become a fashion
", assuring that this perspective was "
not on his agenda for the moment
I understand how people with coronavirus can feel.
Caregivers follow him constantly, both in the Vatican and during his travels abroad, but his recent health problems have led him to officially create a new function, that of "personal health assistant" for which he
appointed a nurse from Gemelli.
At the age of 21, Francis nearly died from pleurisy, according to his biographer Austen Ivereigh, and part of one of his lungs had to be removed in October 1957.
In a recently published book, he recalled this episode: "
I understand how it can feel for people with coronavirus who have to struggle to breathe through artificial respirators
He also discussed surgery to remove cysts from his right lung in an interview with renowned Argentine journalist and doctor Nelson Castro, noting that he had "
" and had "
never felt limited since then
When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was treated by a Chinese acupuncturist for his back pain, his biographer also wrote in May in the columns of The Tablet Catholic.
He also suffered from "
" and in 2004 had a "
" heart problem due to a slight narrowing of an artery, according to his biographer.
In addition, her liver problems were able to be resolved thanks to a change in her diet.