Pope Francis addresses his health problems during in-flight press conference

Pope Francis speaks during an in-flight press conference from Malta, April 3, 2022 Pope Francis speaks during an in-flight press conference from Malta, April 3, 2022. | Vatican Media.

Pope Francis spoke on Sunday about some of the health problems that have been slowing him down in recent months.

“My health is a bit fickle, I have this knee problem that brings out problems with walking,” he told journalists on April 3.

Speaking aboard the papal plane, the 85-year-old pope said that his problems walking have shown some improvement.

“It is a bit annoying, but it is getting better, at least I can walk, until a week ago I couldn’t do it,” he commented.

“It’s a slow thing this winter... at this age you don’t know how the match will end. Let’s hope it goes well,” he said.

The pope spoke in response to a question during an in-flight press conference on his return flight from Malta about how he was feeling following his April 2-3 trip.

Throughout the pope’s visit to Malta, extra measures were taken to ensure that the pope would not have to take stairs.

At the welcome ceremony, he descended a lift rather than the stairs of the papal plane.

A special lift was also installed at the Basilica of St. Paul in Rabat to enable Pope Francis to visit and pray in the crypt grotto, a cherished Catholic pilgrimage spot on the Mediterranean island country.

The trip to Malta was Pope Francis’ first papal trip of 2022.

A February trip to Florence was canceled on account of his knee problems.

In July 2021, Pope Francis spent 11 days in a Rome hospital recuperating from colon surgery.

The pope said that he was pleased with his trip to Malta, although it was a bit short. He added that he was amazed by the enthusiasm that he encountered in Malta, a country where more 85% of the population is Catholic.

He said: “I was happy with the visit. I saw the realities of Malta, a great enthusiasm of the people both in Gozo and Malta. A great enthusiasm in the streets. I was amazed.”

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