Pope Francis spent his second night at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome after being hospitalized for "infectious bronchitis".

His condition has improved. "Based on the information I have, he will leave the Gemelli on Saturday, so he will be able to preside over all the rites of Holy Week," said Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, speaking to Adnkronos.

News also confirmed in the morning by the director of the Vatican press office , Matteo Bruni: "His Holiness's return to the Santa Marta home is expected for tomorrow, following the results of the latest investigations this morning".

Yesterday, Bruni added, «passed well, with a normal clinical course. In the evening, Pope Francis dined, eating pizza, together with those who assist him in these days of hospitalization: doctors, nurses, assistants and staff of the Gendarmerie were present with the Holy Father. This morning after breakfast, he read some newspapers and went back to work.'
In the meantime, the Vatican has reorganized the program for Holy Week : Argentine cardinal Leonardo Sandri will celebrate Mass on Palm Sunday at St. Peter's, while Cardinal Re will preside over the Easter service. «The Pope will be there for the Urbi et Orbi, will read the message and preside over all the rites,” explained Re.

As early as Monday, Sandri added, a plan had been established that would spare the 86-year-old Bergoglio the hardships of Easter week.


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