Pope’s health could break his stride on peace visits

When the Lebanese Minister for Tourism, Walid Nassar, last Monday confirmed that a proposed visit to Beirut by Pope Francis next month has been postponed, the news inevitably sparked speculation about the 85-year-old Argentine Pope’s health.

n truth, since Francis underwent major colon surgery in Rome’s Gemelli hospital last July, such media speculation has never been far from the surface. The shock news of that unexpected hospitalisation last summer was followed by a springtime when Francis has had to scale down his appointments, essentially because he is now having difficulty walking due to severe pain in his right knee.

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