Pope Francis Opts Out Of Good Friday Event For Health

By Victor Winston, updated on March 31, 2024

In an unexpected turn of events, Pope Francis did not participate in the traditional Good Friday Stations of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum due to health concerns.

According to Breitbart, to preserve his strength for the upcoming Easter Vigil and Holy Mass, Pope Francis made the rare decision to abstain from the Good Friday ritual at Rome's Colosseum, marking another moment in his recent series of health-related absences.

The Vatican Press Office released a statement explaining that the decision was made "to preserve his health for tomorrow's Vigil and the Holy Mass on Easter Sunday," highlighting the pontiff's recent struggles with respiratory issues. This last-minute announcement surprised many, considering an earlier confirmation of his attendance had been made.

Pope Francis, at the age of 87, has been facing a delicate health situation. His decision to stay home this Good Friday mirrors a similar absence from the 2023 Viacrucis, where Cardinal Angelo de Donatis filled in for the Pope.

These consecutive absences from a historically significant event in the Catholic Church underscore the Pope's current health challenges.

The Pope's Struggle With Health Concerns

His health concerns are not news to those who follow Vatican affairs closely. Just last weekend, Pope Francis opted not to deliver his Palm Sunday homily. However, by Thursday, he showed signs of recovery, personally celebrating the Chrism Mass.

This fluctuation in health has been a pattern in recent months, with the Pope canceling all scheduled activities twice in February, cited to a persistent flu, and in January, refraining from reading a prepared text due to "a touch of bronchitis."

Pope Francis's respiratory issues have had significant impacts on his duties, even leading to the cancellation of a trip to Dubai for the COP28 U.N. Climate Change Conference last December. Despite these challenges, the Vatican has confirmed his plan to visit Venice on April 28 to engage with artists at the Biennale exhibition, signaling a hopeful note for his future public appearances.

To clarify the Pope's health condition, Pope Francis himself shared, "I have a touch of bronchitis and I can’t speak very well."

Despite the Pope's recent absences, the Vatican continues to schedule his engagements, suggesting a careful balance between his health and his duties. His planned visit to Venice at the end of April represents not just a commitment to his position but also an affinity for the arts and culture, a gesture showing the pontiff's willingness to engage with the world despite his ailments.


The Vatican's announcement of Pope Francis's absence from the Good Friday Stations of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum was a precautionary measure to ensure the Pope's participation in upcoming significant Easter events.

His recent health hurdles, including the persistent flu and bronchitis, have led to various absences from crucial ceremonies and events, impacting his global engagements.

Nonetheless, with plans to visit Venice for the Biennale exhibition, there is a hopeful outlook for his presence at future engagements, balancing his health with his papal responsibilities.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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