A few days of high alert, then the sudden calm. The week was therefore marked in the Vatican by the unexpected hospitalization of Pope Francis, Wednesday, March 29 after the weekly audience held in St. Peter’s Square. For three days, the Curia waited with a certain form of anxiety for the incomplete press releases from the Press Room. And the absence of Francis from the smallest state in the world has fueled, even more than usual, the comments and endless speculations about his real state, his possible renunciation, his ability to govern, his presence at Easter…
But these doubts about Francis’s health ended with the announcement, at midday on Friday, of the pope’s return to the Vatican, scheduled for the next day. And the communicators of the Holy See have, it seems, wanted to be inventive to prove to the world the good health of the former archbishop of Buenos Aires. So we could read in the press release that not only had the pope gone back to work and read the newspapers, but in addition he had also, on Thursday evening, shared a pizza with the doctors, nurses and gendarmes present at the ‘hospital. Without specifying if it was a margherita or a napoletana, or by what means this pizza had been brought to the 10th floor of the Roman hospital Gemelli.
The anecdote, which frankly gives rise to a smile, contrasts with the few details given by the Vatican on the state of health of the pope during his hospitalization. The nature of the famous examinations, allegedly “scheduled” – when it was not – has never been disclosed, any more than the fact that François had to be rushed to the hospital on Wednesday at the ‘lunch time. But above all, it must be seen as a desire on the part of the Vatican, and obviously of the pope himself, to show that the parenthesis of hospitalization is now well and truly closed.
Life resumes, the pope will be present at the celebrations of Holy Week, and he will even receive, Monday morning, the president of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Borjana Kristo, on a visit to Rome. And with regard to the Curia, where we debated for three days to find out who could replace the pope at Easter, the message is clear: Francis is back.
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