There was concern about the hospitalization of the pope, who was suffering from a number of ailments. He has stomach problems for which he had surgery in 2021. Because of a knee problem, he uses a wheelchair or a cane. Francis admitted last summer that he needed to slow down.
Health concerns lead to questions about how long the pope plans to stay in office. He said he might step down if his health failed him, but before he was hospitalized he said he wouldn’t stop for the time being.
Francis Benedict XVI’s predecessor resigned in 2013 for health reasons. This was unusual because a pope usually remains in office for the rest of his life.