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Despite recent doubts surrounding his health, Pope Francis is anticipated to lead Easter services at the Vatican this weekend, marking a significant occasion for the Catholic community worldwide.


Scheduled to preside over an Easter Eve vigil at Saint Peter’s Basilica and deliver his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing on Easter Sunday, the 87-year-old pontiff remains steadfast in his commitment to his duties, according to the Vatican.

A statement from the Vatican on Friday announced the Pope’s decision to follow the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum from his residence at Santa Marta, citing a need to preserve his health for upcoming events.

The last-minute cancellation of a major Good Friday procession, despite preparations already in place, has fueled speculation about the Pope’s well-being and his ability to continue leading the Church and its vast congregation.

Media outlets such as La Stampa and Il Messaggero have highlighted concerns about the Pope’s health, with headlines reflecting on the perceived fragility of the pontiff.

However, Vatican sources have downplayed worries, attributing the decision to withdraw from the procession as a precautionary measure rather than a sign of imminent health crisis.

This is not the first time Pope Francis has adjusted his schedule due to health concerns. In 2023, he also canceled participation in the Via Crucis following a brief hospital stay for bronchitis and subsequent hernia operation.

While Francis has shown signs of fatigue and occasionally delegated speaking roles to others, he has maintained an active presence in his various engagements. Notably, he skipped the COP28 summit in Dubai in December, raising questions about his stamina.

Reflecting on the possibility of resignation, a topic broached by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, Pope Francis expressed in a recent memoir that he has not encountered any serious impediment warranting resignation.

Resignation remains a distant consideration for Francis, who believes stepping down would only be justified in the face of a significant physical limitation. Despite challenges, the Pope remains committed to his role, offering continuity and guidance to the Catholic faithful during Holy Week and beyond.

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