KEYS: 2023 – a year of historic moments at the Vatican

2023 began with the world watching a historic moment where a pope presided over the funeral of his predecessor.

But the year was also marked by a special focus on Pope Francis' health. His knee problem persisted and he was hospitalized twice for different reasons, including for an operation to remove an abdominal hernia that had been causing him discomfort.

"We proceeded to clear these adhesions, these internal scars and we unraveled—what we doctors say—the skin that was attached to the adhesions that was causing this intestinal difficulty," Sergio Alfieri said.

The pope's health even impacted his schedule throughout the year and he acknowledged that he is not as young as he used to be.

"I tell the truth, for me, now, traveling is not as easy as it was in the beginning. There are limitations to walking and they are restricting, but we will see," Pope Francis said.

Despite his different health complications, Pope Francis was able to join the more than one million young people for the much-anticipated World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, which had been postponed for a year due to the COVID pandemic.

The pope appointed his long-time friend and theological advisor, Argentine Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, as the new prefect for the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith. The archbishop also helped Pope Francis draft Evangelii Gaudium, a base document of his pontificate focused on encouraging Catholics to become missionaries.

"The truth is, as the pope says, Evangelii Gaudium is a programmatic document. He also calls for boldness, enthusiasm, he calls for creativity," Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández said.

To close out the year, the Vatican trial of the century came to an end. Cardinal Angelo Becciu received a five and a half year prison sentence, a fine of almost $9,000 and a lifetime ban from holding public office in the Vatican for embezzlement and mismanagment of Vatican funds.