Pope breaks his wrist, taken to hospital

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Rome, July 17 (ANI): Currently on a summer break, Pope Benedict XVI has broken his wrist and twisted an ankle after slipping in the bathroom.

Despite the agony, the Pope, 82, was able to walk to the casualty department of the hospital after arriving with his private secretary, Mgr Georg Ganswein on Friday.

Vatican officials have said that the incident was "not serious" and that the Pope was being checked purely as a precaution and was having an X-ray on his wrist and ankle.

"The Holy Father fell over, it is nothing serious and he has gone to the Parini hospital in Aosta for a check up, The Telegraph quoted Pope's spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, as saying.

Every year, the German-born Pontiff goes on a summer break in a chalet at Les Combes near Aosta in the Italian Alps - a tradition begun by his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

Although it is not the first time he has slipped, this is the first major health scare for Pope Benedict since he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church in April 2005.

Earlier this year at a ceremony he tripped as he left the altar at the end of a service but he managed to right himself and avoid falling to the floor.

The Pope appears healthy and robust, and in five years has never skipped a planned event for health reasons.

In an interview, he had said that being Pope is "really tiring" and in an interview with German television he said he did not feel strong enough to take many long trips.

However in the last year alone he has been to Australia, Africa and the Middle East and later this year he is due to visit the Czech Republic while there are also rumours of a visit to Britain next year.

When Pope John Paul II was in his later years and clearly suffering from Parkinson's disease, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once suggested that there might come a time when popes have to retire. (ANI)

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