The Vatican

How is Pope Francis really doing?

The Pontiff's knee pains, which have prevented several meetings and celebrations, have sparked rumors about the health of the Pope who, after several days of rehabilitation, is making progress in his mobility and autonomy.

Giovanni Tridente-May 17, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
pope francisco health

Translation of the article into Italian

For days now, even in the international press, rumors have been circulating about possible complications for the Pontiff's health, to the point that rumors have also begun about the main candidates for a possible next Conclave as successors to Pope Francis.

Certainly, it is not pleasant to see how the whirlwind of the called toto-nomi, in which hypotheses are put forward, strategies are "studied", "moves" are observed and every statement inside and outside the Vatican walls is analyzed with a certain exegetical vein.

It is true that, since the end of last month, the Pope has had to reduce the pace of his work due to worsening pain in his right knee, in which he suffers from osteoarthritis (gonarthrosis). We have begun to see him in a wheelchair and limping noticeably even in small movements. He has not presided at some celebrations and has postponed some appointments.

However, a few days ago he began his rehabilitation period, about two hours a day and, compared to the absolute rest prescribed by the doctors a few weeks ago, we see him somewhat more "autonomous". In private audiences at Casa Santa Marta he moves more easily with the help of a cane.

Pope Francis' health

Nothing to worry about, after all; it's simply the classic ailments of age. Francis is 85 years old and already suffered from sciatica before his election to the papacy, so he wears orthopedic shoes to help correct his hip posture.

A year ago he underwent a scheduled operation at Rome's Gemelli Hospital to resolve a "symptomatic diverticular stricture of the colon". The recovery went very well, and the Pope has never shied away from meeting with groups of the faithful, even on Saturday mornings in the Sala Clementina. Since then he has also made several trips abroad and more are planned for this summer, including Canada and South Sudan.

For the past couple of weeks he has been constantly receiving different groups of the faithful, even during the morning, as if he wanted to make up for some of the postponed meetings.

He remains seated in his wheelchair, from which he delivers his farewell speech, but does not shy away from kissing hands at the end of the hearings.

On Sunday he celebrated the Mass for the canonization of 10 new saints and, after the Regina Caeli, he himself went to greet the cardinals present in St. Peter's Basilica. He then took a tour of the Piazza and Via della Conciliazione seated in the Popemobile.

Although a little sore and limping from the knee, he is seen with his usual determination. He himself is convinced that it will pass, it will take some time, but it will pass.

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