The choking Pope still held the Easter service in the Vatican

The choking Pope still held the Easter service in the Vatican


The pontiff’s health problems can no longer be hidden

The Pope led the Easter service after missing the procession on Good Friday. The Roman Catholic Church’s pontiff appeared a day after he made a last-minute decision to skip the previous service to “preserve his health.”

Pope Francis led a solemn Easter service at the Vatican on Saturday evening, a day after he made a last-minute decision to withdraw from the procession to the Colosseum on Good Friday due to health concerns.

According to The Guardian, Francis entered the darkened, quiet St. Peter’s Basilica in his wheelchair, took his place in the chair and said the opening prayer, which sounded somewhat strangled.

Gasping for breath, the pontiff blessed the Easter candle, the flame of which was then shared with other candles in the cathedral.

More than an hour later, Francis delivered a 10-minute homily in a loud voice, occasionally clearing his throat.

The evening service, one of the most important moments in the Catholic calendar, commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and includes the baptism of eight adults who converted to Catholicism, Sky News explains.

The Vatican said Francis skipped the Good Friday procession to ensure his participation in the vigil service on Saturday evening, which usually lasts about two hours, and the Easter Sunday Mass, which will take place a few hours later.

As The Guardian notes, the 87-year-old pope, who had part of his lung removed as a young man, had been battling respiratory problems all winter that made it difficult for him to speak for long periods of time. He and the Vatican said he had bronchitis, a cold or flu.

Francis canceled several audiences and often asked an aide to read some of his speeches aloud. But alarm was raised when he skipped the Palm Sunday sermon altogether last week and then decided not to lead the procession at the Colosseum.

A brief explanation from the Vatican said the decision was made to “preserve his health.”

While Francis also missed the cold Good Friday procession last year because he was recovering from bronchitis, his sudden absence from this year’s event underscored how health concerns affect even major liturgical events at the Vatican.

At the end of last year, Francis canceled a trip to Dubai, which was only a few days away, on doctor’s orders, The Guardian recalls.

In addition to the breathing problems, Francis had part of his colon removed in 2021 and was hospitalized twice last year, including once to remove intestinal scar tissue from previous surgeries to correct diverticulosis, or bulges in the intestinal wall. In addition, he has been using a wheelchair or a cane for almost two years due to problems with knee ligaments.

In his recently published memoir, “A Life: My Story through the Lens of History,” Francis revealed that he does not suffer from any health problems that would force him to retire, and that he still has “many projects to carry out.” in life”.


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