“The Pope has slowed down his activities today because of medical checks that are necessary today,” Matteo Bruni, the director of the Vatican press office, confided on April 22, 2022. In recent days, the 85-year-old Pope has again shown difficulty walking.
Several appointments scheduled for this morning were cancelled the previous day in anticipation of the medical revisions, a Vatican source told I.MEDIA. This morning, the Vatican press office did not communicate the schedule of the Pope to journalists as is customary. According to the Spanish news site Religion Digital, the Pontiff was scheduled to meet with Argentina’s foreign minister, Santiago Cafiero, in the morning.
Bruni simply told reporters that the Pope was slowing down his activities for medical checks. No other information has yet been released. It is not known if the tests are related to his right knee pain.
In recent days, Pope Francis has possibly appeared weakened as he continues to show pain in his legs. Last Saturday, he delegated presiding over the Easter Vigil Mass to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals. Throughout Holy Week, he avoided standing for too long and obviously limited his walking to a minimum.
On Easter Sunday, however, he was able to preside at Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The next day, in front of tens of thousands of young Italians, the Pope seemed to have regained some energy.
Pope acknowledges difficulty in walking
At the beginning of April, during his trip to Malta, he confirmed to journalists that his knee continues to give him problems, and he was given an elevator lift to get on the plane when he departed the country.
“My health is a little bit capricious, because I have this problem with my knee that brings out mobility problems, with walking. It’s a bit tiring but it’s getting better,” he said.
In July 2021, Pope Francis also underwent a major operation on his colon. Hospitalized for ten days after general anesthesia, he explained afterwards that the doctors removed 33 centimeters of intestine.
In August, he dismissed rumors of a resignation for health reasons that some Italian media were peddling. “When the Pope is ill, there is always a breeze – or a hurricane – of conclave,” he quipped.
Francis’ next public celebration of Mass is scheduled for this Sunday, April 24. The Argentine Pontiff is scheduled to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 a.m.