The Pope canceled his participation in the Stations of the Cross at the last minute

Pope Francis, 87, canceled his participation in the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome at the last minute on Friday, March 29. “Ahead of tomorrow's vigil and Easter Sunday Mass, Pope Francis will follow the Stations of the Cross from Sainte-Marthe House to the Colosseum this evening”The Vatican announced in a press release.

During the announcement, seconds before the start of the ceremony, the organizers removed the papal chair from the hill in front of the Colosseum.

“It's a precautionary measure.”A Vatican source assured Agence France-Presse of the pope's health after appearing. “with shape” In the recent hours, did not wake up “No specific concerns”.

The decision, however, once again raises questions about the Pope's ability to continue governing the Catholic Church, while he has always allowed it. “The Open Door” A possible abdication, in line with his predecessor, Benedict XVI. In an autobiography published this month, he reiterated no “Serious Cause” to abdicate his post, “Distance Hypothesis” Only justified in the event “Severe Physical Obstruction”.

The Argentine Jesuit had already canceled his participation in 2023 for health reasons, shortly after a three-day hospitalization for bronchitis, but unlike this decision was announced in advance.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers Pope Francis' health forces him to abandon COP28

Persistent health problems

In recent days, the pope has honed his busy schedule by participating in several ceremonies as part of Holy Week, the main highlight of the Catholic calendar leading up to Easter.

On Friday afternoon, the head of the Catholic Church led the Good Friday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican as scheduled. On Thursday, he appeared smiling as he washed the feet of twelve women detained in a Rome prison and participated in a walk.

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He will lead and bless Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sunday morning. Urbi and RB (“To the City and the World”), during which he generally reviews international conflicts.

George Bergoglio, who uses a wheelchair, has suffered increasing health problems in recent years, particularly with his knees, hips and colon.

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He underwent stomach surgery in June and canceled his trip to Dubai for COP28 in December due to bronchitis. In recent days, he has been forced on several occasions to read certain texts for health reasons.

On Friday evening, in front of the spectacular setting of the illuminated Roman amphitheater, thousands of faithful from many countries, often with candles in hand, participated in silence. Through the cross.

Unprecedented since his election in 2013, the Pope has written meditative texts that are read at each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross symbolizing Christ's trial from his crucifixion, death and burial. tradition.

Also Read | The article is reserved for our subscribers With “Living,” Pope Francis embarks on an autobiographical exercise from his Argentine youth to leadership of the Catholic Church.

The world with AFP

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