Pope Francis spent a peaceful second night in hospital for treatment of bronchitis, a Vatican source said Friday, as a senior cardinal said the 86-year-old could be discharged as soon as Saturday.
Spokesman Matteo Bruni said 86-year-old Pope has responded well to antibiotics and on Thursday evening shared a pizza with staff looking after him at Rome’s Gemelli hospital.
“His Holiness’s return home to Santa Marta (his Vatican home) is expected tomorrow, in the wake of the results of the latest tests this morning,” Bruni said.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, told the Adnkronos news agency Friday that “based on the information I have, the pope will leave Gemelli tomorrow”.
He expressed hope that Francis would be able to preside over services for Holy Week and Easter, Christianity’s most important holiday, which begin with this weekend’s Palm Sunday celebrations.
However, the Vatican did not confirmed that the Pontiff passed the night “peacefully”
Two weeks after Pope celebrated his 10 years as head of the worldwide Catholic Church, it has caused uproar about his health status after been admitted into hospital particularly about his future.
The Argentine, who had part of one lung removed as a young man, has suffered increasing health issues in recent years, and it was his second stay in hospital since 2021.
He has repeatedly said he would consider stepping down if his health failed him, following the example of his predecessor Benedict XVI — but said in February that for now, he had no plans to quit.