By Associated Press - Friday, March 29, 2024

ROME — Pope Francis skipped the traditional Good Friday procession at Rome’s Colosseum, the Vatican said, adding to concerns about his frail health during a particularly busy liturgical period.

Francis had been expected to preside over the Way of the Cross procession, which re-enacts Christ’s Passion and crucifixion, and composed the meditations that are read aloud at each station. But just as the event was about to begin, the Vatican announced that Francis was following the event from his home at the Vatican.

It was the first time he had skipped the traditional, evocative event in his 11-year papacy, an event that St. John Paul II famously skipped just before he died in 2005.

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