POPE Francis is set to miss Good Friday’s late-night procession for the first time since he got elected.

The 86-year-old who was recently hospitalised with a respiratory infection won’t preside over Good Friday’s late-night Way of the Cross event.

The Pope was admitted to hospital last week


The Pope was admitted to hospital last weekCredit: The Mega Agency
Francis, 86 suffered from a respiratory infection


Francis, 86 suffered from a respiratory infectionCredit: Rex

The Vatican said in a statement that instead of presiding over the torch-lit procession at the Colosseum, Francis will watch from the hotel where he lives in the Vatican.

The Pope will miss the procession due to Rome’s cold weather, the Vatican added.

He will still attend the earlier Passion of the Lord celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica.

There, the cross will be unveiled before it goes to the Colosseum for the procession.

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Francis, 86, was discharged from a Rome hospital on Saturday following treatment for bronchitis.

The Vatican said at the time that he would carry out the complete Holy Week schedule, including the Way of the Cross procession and Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peters Square.

On Thursday, he presided over Mass in St. Peters Basilica and later washed and dried the feet of a dozen residents of a Rome juvenile prison in a ritual symbolizing humility.

The Pope was rushed to hospital by ambulance after his weekly audience last Wednesday.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Pope had been struggling with breathing difficulties and was taken to the Gemelli hospital for tests.

He said Pope Francis is “touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer”.

Earlier this year, Francis bid farewell to his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died aged 95.

Francis was seen arriving in a wheelchair and stood using a stick as he paid tribute to the “wisdom, tenderness and devotion that he bestowed upon us over the years”.

The Gemelli is the same hospital where he underwent a major op on his colon in 2021.

He remained in hospital for 10 days.

Pope Francis had to cancel activities several times last year due to the pain his knee and acknowledged that he needed to slow down.

He said he would follow Benedict in stepping down if his health made him unable to do his job.


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