April 17, 2024

Pope Francis Pulls Out of Stations of the Cross, Citing ‘Health’ Reasons

ROME — Pope Francis stayed house on Good Friday as a substitute of presiding over the Stations of the Cross (Viacrucis) at Rome’s Colosseum as beforehand introduced.

“To preserve his health for tomorrow’s Vigil and the Holy Mass on Easter Sunday,” the Vatican Press Office stated in a statement, “Pope Francis will follow the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum this evening from the Casa Santa Marta.”

The assertion was issued at the final attainable second after the Vatican confirmed the pontiff’s presence simply hours earlier. Vatican News appeared to downplay the significance of Francis’s absence by noting that he skipped the Viacrucis ceremony in 2023 as properly, being substituted at the Colosseum with Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome.

The 87-year-old pope has missed a quantity of actions of late and at instances has referred to as on aides to learn ready speeches for him.

Last weekend, as an illustration, Francis determined at the final minute to not pronounce his Palm Sunday homily, although by Thursday he appeared higher, personally celebrating the Chrism Mass in the morning in addition to the night Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

In February, the pope twice canceled all his scheduled actions, with the Vatican Press Office citing a persistent flu as the trigger.

In January, Francis attended a gathering in the Vatican with Catholic communicators from France however omitted studying his ready textual content as a result of, as he stated, “I have a touch of bronchitis and I can’t speak very well.”

These similar respiratory troubles additionally induced him to cancel his journey to Dubai in early December, the place he was slated to deal with the COP28 U.N. Climate Change Conference.

This previous week, nonetheless, the Vatican confirmed the pope’s intention to journey to the northern Italian metropolis of Venice on April 28, the place he plans to greet artists current for the annual Biennale exhibition and inaugurate the Vatican pavilion sponsored by the Dicastery for Culture and Education.