What to Think about the Pope’s Health?


Since his hospitalization on July 4 to the present day, there have been numerous reports about the real state of Pope Francis’ health. The first ones were very optimistic. But as the first days passed, they gave way to others that led to the suspicion of a more serious illness. What to make of it all?

Newsdesk (12/09/2021 2:45, Gaudium Press) On July 4, the Pope was hospitalized for colon surgery. The problem was listed as “diverticular stenosis”, an illness, the doctors said, of little gravity, but which required medical intervention.

Francis underwent the procedure at the Gemelli hospital in Rome. The first medical bulletin stated that the surgery, which lasted three hours, went perfectly well. The Pope was recovering and would initially stay in the hospital for seven days.

It didn’t take long, however, before other news and press releases came that brought into question the optimistic reports of the Holy See’s press office, already considered unreliable in journalistic circles. Was it simply diverticulitis? Or was Francis suffering from a more serious health problem?

Was there a more serious problem?

A certain journalist[1], supported by “reliable sources”, reported that Bergoglio suffered from a severe and degenerative illness, which would inevitably change his routine. They also claimed that he had to have a few centimeters of his colon removed, which indicates a certain gravity.

To these “speculations” is added the confirmed fact that it was necessary to extend the period of his recovery, staying more days in the hospital. After that, the Pope returned to the Vatican premises, but not to his normal activities, as he still needed to regain his strength.

More recently, the subject has come up again: a Vaticanist has published that rumor has it that Francis has two tumors in his intestine. This, in a way, would justify all the concerns and precautions that have been taken regarding his real state of health. Moreover, according to him, the doctors have had difficulties “in the management of the august patient” who “has shown himself to be nervous and intolerant with the treatment”.

What to think of all this? Whether these are mere speculations, rumors, or factual truth, we don’t know. What is certain is that the Church has been afflicted by calamities in other times, as it is today. And she has always remained unscathed and undefiled. We must therefore pray for the one who leads the Church from Rome, so that the designs of God may be realized in his person, in the certainty that Our Lord guides all events for the good of the Church.

To all this perspective, another is added: that of the next conclave, which might be soon. What to expect from the next Pope? What directions should he give to the Church, in a world increasingly removed from the doctrine and morals of Our Lord Jesus Christ? By what means will the invisible hand of Providence guide things in this direction? These are legitimate questions, and very appropriate, it seems, to the times in which we live.

By Ney Henrique Meireles
Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

[1] Aldo Maria Valli. All the phrases quoted here are written by the above-mentioned journalist.

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