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Pope leaves hospital after ‘eating pizza for dinner’

Pope Francis is expected to be discharged from Rome hospital on Saturday where he is being treated for bronchitis, the Vatican announced.

Spokesman Matteo Bruni said Francois’ recovery was “normal” and he ate pizza for dinner on Thursday.

Francis, 86, was admitted to the Gemelli Polyclinic on Wednesday, where doctors said the pontiff was receiving intravenous antibiotics to treat his bronchitis.

The hospital admission took place four days before Palm Sunday – the start of Holy Week.

Due to a chronic knee problem, Francis had already largely stopped celebrating Mass on the main holy days of the Catholic Church, but continued to preside over ceremonies and give homilies.

Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re said Friday that Francis may be able to preside over — but not celebrate — Holy Week ceremonies.

“Based on the information I have, he will leave Gemelli tomorrow, so he will be able to preside over all the Holy Week rituals,” the cardinal told Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on March 29, 2023 at the Vatican.Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

It is unclear, however, whether Francis, even back in the Vatican, will be able to preside over or attend Holy Week celebrations.

They include a late-night Stations of the Cross procession, marked by prayers on Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome and Easter Mass on April 9, which is traditionally followed by a lengthy papal address delivered from the central balcony of the Saint Peter’s basilica.

During Wednesday’s hour-long public hearing, Francis sometimes appeared to be visibly in pain as he moved around and was helped by assistants.


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