NewsPope Francis struggles with health, delegates speech readings

Pope Francis struggles with health, delegates speech readings

The Pope did not deliver his speech.
The Pope did not deliver his speech.
Images source: © Licensor | ALESSIA GIULIANI /

7:22 AM EDT, March 17, 2024

Pope Francis continues to battle health issues. On Saturday, he had to delegate the reading of his speech to a colleague, revealing, "I have not recovered and I am unable to read the speech," the Pope acknowledged.
For the past three weeks, Pope Francis has been grappling with health challenges, rendering him incapable of delivering his own speeches. He has repeatedly asked a colleague from the Secretariat of State to read his speeches on his behalf.
During an audience with the staff of the Bambino Gesu (Child Jesus) pediatric hospital in Vatican City this Saturday, the Pope made it known: "I have not recovered and I cannot read the speech."
Reverend Filippo Ciampanelli stepped in to read the Pope's speech, a role he has assumed during previous events as well.
Following the audience, Pope Francis personally met with around 200 children receiving treatment at the hospital, including young patients from Ukraine and the Gaza Strip.
### The Pope's Health
On February 24, the Vatican announced that the 87-year-old Pope was experiencing "mild flu symptoms." Later, during an audience, he revealed he had bronchitis. The Pope also underwent hospital tests to rule out further lung complications.
The repeated respiratory infections have raised concerns among the faithful about the Pope's well-being.
Toward the end of February, the Vatican had to cancel some of the Pope's scheduled audiences due to what they described as a "mild flu."
Last year, Pope Francis was hospitalized under suspicion of a coronavirus infection, but tests confirmed it was a respiratory infection instead. In 2021, he underwent surgery to remove part of his large intestine. At 87, he also deals with sciatica and knee issues, often necessitating the use of a wheelchair or cane.
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