Pope Francis says intestinal problems have ‘returned’ but insists, ‘I’m in good health’ – Catholic World Report

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by
Pope Francis, seated in a wheelchair, greets a child during the pope’s general audience at the Vatican on Jan. 25, 2023. / Vatican Media

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 25, 2023 / 08:30 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has revealed a recurrence of the intestinal ailment that has plagued him in recent years while also professing to be in good health for his age.

He also indicated he has no plans to resign, although if he were to step down he reiterated that he would want to be called “bishop emeritus of Rome,” rather than “pope emeritus,” the title given his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press published Wednesday that also included pointed remarks about homosexuality, the pope disclosed that diverticulosis, or bulges in his intestinal wall, had “returned.”

At the same time, however, the 86-year-old pontiff — who is preparing to embark on a pilgrimage to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo next week — insisted he was in relatively good condition.

“I’m in good health. For my age, I’m normal,” he told the AP on Jan. 24.

Pope Francis arrived at Paul VI Hall using a cane to walk on Jan. 18, 2023. Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Pope Francis arrived at Paul VI Hall using a cane to walk on Jan. 18, 2023. Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Rumors of Francis’ possible resignation, and speculation that his health problems are more serious than the Vatican has acknowledged, have swirled since he underwent surgery in 2021 to have 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his large intestine removed for what the Vatican said was inflammation of his colon.

A slight fracture in his knee Francis suffered in a fall also has made it visibly painful for him to walk, making it necessary for him to rely on a cane and a wheelchair. But Francis told the AP that the fracture had healed without surgery after laser and magnet therapy.

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Pope Francis says intestinal problems have ‘returned’ but insists, ‘I’m in good health’ – Catholic World Report

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