Pope Francis’ health improving as hopes of leaving hospital rise
A Vatican source reported on Friday that Pope Francis spent a second night in hospital receiving treatment for bronchitis while a senior cardinal said the 86-year-old could be released as early as Saturday.
Doctors reported late Thursday that the pontiff’s condition had “remarkably improved” since he was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Wednesday, and that he could return home “in the coming days.”
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, told newsmen on Friday, “based on the information I have, tomorrow the pope will depart Gemelli.”
He expressed hope that Francis would be able to preside over services for Holy Week and Easter, the most important Christian holidays, beginning with Palm Sunday celebrations this coming weekend.
The Vatican did not respond to confirmation requests. An earlier source stated that he had a “peaceful” night.
The pope’s hospitalisation, which occurred just weeks after he celebrated 10 years as the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, has sparked widespread concern and speculation regarding his future.
The Argentine, who had a portion of one lung removed when he was young, has experienced deteriorating health in recent years, and this was his second hospitalisation since 2021.
He has repeatedly stated that he would consider resigning if his health deteriorated, following the example of his predecessor Benedict XVI, but he stated in February that he has no plans to resign at this time.
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