July 15. 2024. 6:26

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Pope Francis in hospital for check-up, has agenda cleared


Pope Francis (pictured) visited Rome’s Gemelli hospital to have a check up, Matteo Bruni, his spokesman, said Wednesday (29 March). This raised concerns about Pope Francis’ health.

According to a Vatican source, the papal diary has been cleared for continued medical testing.

Italian media cast doubts on Bruni’s claim that the checkup was scheduled. They claimed that a TV interview with Pope Francis, originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, had been cancelled.

Ansa news agency cited unnamed medical sources who said that doctors weren’t concerned about the condition of the pope after their initial tests. The Vatican did not immediately comment on these reports.

The pope had earlier in the day attended his weekly general audience at Vatican. He was in good health.

Pope Francis has diverticulitis. This is a condition that can infect the colon or inflame it. He had an operation at Gemelli in 2021 to remove a portion of his colon.

In January, he stated that his condition had returned. He also said that it was causing him weight gain. However, he wasn’t overly concerned. He didn’t elaborate.

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He also has a problem in his knee. In public, he alternates between a cane or a wheelchair.

In an interview last January, Francis stated that he would prefer not to have knee surgery because he didn’t want to suffer the same long-term side effects of anaesthesia as he had after his 2021 operation.

Francis, upon returning from Canada last July, acknowledged that his declining age and difficulty walking may have brought about a new phase in his pontificate.

Since then, he’s been to Kazakhstan and Bahrain and he made a last-month trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

He also stated this year that he does not plan to resign any time soon, and that if it did happen it would be for serious health reasons such as if his condition was gravely impaired.

In an interview on March 12, Italian Swiss TV RSI asked him what conditions would cause him to quit. He replied: "A tiredness that doesn’t allow you to see things clearly, lack of clarity and inability to assess situations."

The Pope will preside at a Palm Sunday service, which is the beginning of a busy week of Easter celebrations.

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