Rumors surrounding Pope Francis’ declining health grew on Monday when he missed his step while celebrating the Feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran. This had been the second time the pontiff stumbled in three days.
The two incidents happened just weeks after Morning News USA reported that the Catholic Church leader had been seeing a Japanese surgeon for a brain tumor.
In the video of the incident on Monday, Pope Francis would have fallen backwards when he missed his step as he made his way up the altar. Fortunately, two church officials were able to support him, taking him by the arm to prevent his fall. The video shows Pope Francis confidently taking a step to the altar but appears to have tripped. Once he was able to recover, he placed his hand over his chest.
In a separate incident on Saturday, the Pope fell forward on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica. In the video of the incident, the Pope was seen falling on his knees but fortunately was able to support himself with his outstretched hands. Two aides immediately helped him stand.
It is widely known that the Pope had lost one of his lungs due to an illness when he was young. He had also been undergoing regular therapy because of leg pain that resulted from sciatica.
The two incidents were making headlines because of its curious timing. They both happened after the Vatican was forced to deny report claiming that a Japanese surgeon, identified as Dr. Takanori Fukushima, had been visiting the Pope because of a brain tumor.
The Pope, however, also tripped when he was climbing a plane’s staircase in September during his U.S. visit. At the time, the pontiff was able to stand back again without the help of his aides.