Audiences postponed and liturgies delegated to others: in the Vatican the health of Francis is now a concern. “But for now the papal agenda does not change”

Audiences are postponed and liturgies delegated to others: in the Vatican, the health of Francis is now a concern. “But for now the papal agenda does not change”

There is worry in the Vatican about the real health conditions of Pope Francesco. For weeks, Bergoglio has been forced to reorganize his agenda daily due to the persistent problem with his right knee, which no longer allows him to walk. Private audiences canceled or postponed and celebrations were delegated to some curial personalities (the Easter vigil, Holy Saturday, to Cardinal Dean Giovanni Battista Re and the Sunday Mass of Divine Mercy, on 24 April last, to Monsignor Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the new evangelization). The resort to the wheelchair, on which he arrived in Paul VI Hall for the audience with the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General, was necessary due to the worsening difficulty walking and obeying the instructions of the doctors who prescribed fifteen days of absolute bed rest. An indication that the illustrious patient, as is evident, did not put in place trying to combine his schedule, quite demanding, with motor difficulties.

Certainly not an unprecedented image, because the Pope needed a wheelchair even in the days following the colon operation suffered on July 4, 2021. At the time, however, it was a regular hospitalization after a delicate operation in total anesthesia about a man on the verge of 85. Now, however, the use of a wheelchair, like many other facilities (audiences transferred from the Apostolic Palace to Casa Santa Marta, travel by car or popemobile, platforms to avoid the steps), was necessary for the prolonged inability to walk. The Vatican they specify that already in the previous days the Pope used a wheelchair to cover some distances without walking. Just as it is not excluded that Francesco will return to use it in the coming days. At the moment, in the sacred palaces, they claim that “it is difficult to make other predictions” and that “for now I planned programs remain on the papal agenda “. Moreover, Francesco is announcing several international travels for the next few months which, at present, seem impractical.

“Unfortunately – the Pope explained to the faithful present at the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square – I will not be able to pass between you for knee disease. And for that, I apologize for owing you healthy while sitting, but it’s a thing of the moment. We hope that it will pass soon and I can come to you later in other hearings ”. Words repeated in all private hearings in recent weeks: “Excuse me if I cannot get up to greet you, the doctors have told me that I have to sit by the knee”. Recently, Francesco himself explained his clinical situation: “I have a torn ligament, I’ll do an intervention with infiltrations and we’ll see. I’ve been like this for a long time, I can’t walk. Once the popes went with the gestatory chair. It also takes some pain, some humiliation ”. In the Vatican, also confirm that the infiltrations have been made. It will be necessary to consider whether more will be needed in the coming days.