March 29, 2023

Pope Francis in hospital for check-up – Vatican

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, showing a bruise around his left eye and eyebrow caused by an accidental hit against the popemobile’s window glass while visiting the old sector of Cartagena,Colombia, is greeted by faithful on September 10, 2017. Nearly 1.3 million worshippers flocked to a mass by Pope Francis on Saturday in the Colombian city known as the stronghold of the late drug lord Pablo Escobar. / AFP PHOTO

The Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Francis, 86, was in hospital in Rome for health checks that it said were previously scheduled.

“The Holy Father has been at Gemelli (Hospital) since this afternoon for some previously scheduled checks,” wrote Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in a one-sentence statement.

It was the same hospital where the pope underwent an operation on his colon in July 2021 after suffering from a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine.

He remained at hospital for 10 days after the surgery.

The Argentine pontiff suffers from chronic knee pain that has forced him to rely on a wheelchair in recent months.

The pope had to cancel or curtail activities several times last year because of pain and in a July 2022 interview he acknowledged that he needed to slow down.

His health has been the frequent subject of speculation.

Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, who died in December, quit over failing health in 2013.