Pope Francis Addresses His Health Problems During In-Flight Press Conference

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

Pope Francis speaks during an in-flight press conference from Malta on April 3.
Pope Francis speaks during an in-flight press conference from Malta on April 3. (photo: National Catholic Register / 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.

Numerous users online noted that the site was unavailable as of Tuesday morning.

Was the Vatican Hacked Again?

The perpetrator and motives of the alleged hacker or hackers in this case remain unclear, though there is precedent for hacking groups targeting the Vatican because of public statements made by Pope Francis.