BREAKING: Pope Francis hospitalized with a respiratory infection, Vatican says

Pope Francis speaks at his general audience in St. Peter's Square on March 29, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Mar 29, 2023 / 13:24 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis will be hospitalized for “some days” after being diagnosed with a respiratory infection, the Vatican said Wednesday.

“In recent days Pope Francis has complained of some difficulty breathing and this afternoon went to [Gemelli Hospital] to carry out some medical tests. The results of these tests showed a respiratory infection (a COVID-19 infection was excluded) that will require some days of opportune medical treatment in the hospital,” Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni said Wednesday evening.

“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages he received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” Bruni added.

Bruni had issued a brief statement earlier in the afternoon of March 29 to say the pope was at Gemelli Hospital “for some previously scheduled checkups.”

Gemelli is the same hospital where Pope Francis was hospitalized in July 2021 when he underwent surgery on his colon for diverticulitis, or inflammation of the intestinal wall.

In an interview with the Associated Press in January, Pope Francis disclosed that the diverticulitis had “returned.” At the time, the 86-year-old pontiff — who traveled to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in late January — insisted he was in relatively good condition.

The pope has also suffered since last year from a problem with his right knee, making it necessary for him to rely on a cane and a wheelchair to move around. But Francis told the AP that a fracture had healed without surgery after laser and magnet therapy.

As of Wednesday evening, the pope’s agenda for Thursday and Friday lists two meetings, one with teachers and students from the schools of the Oblate Sisters of the Child Jesus on Thursday, and the fifth Lenten sermon with the Roman Curia on Friday.

This is a developing story.

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  1. The article says:

    Bruni had issued a brief statement earlier in the afternoon of March 29 to say the pope was at Gemelli Hospital “for some previously scheduled checkups.”

    It is clear that the Vatican’s reflexive response to pretty much anything — even as innocuous an occurrence as the illness of the pope — is to lie.

    • He’s not Papa. Only a fundamentalist would use that term. Francis is the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He’s a pretty bad one, truth be told, but that is his title nonetheless and he should be addressed as such.

  2. Praying that the Lord will accompany Francis in his illness.

    At the same time, I have to agree with brineyman above that I cannot trust that any communications from this Vatican will be truthful. What a shame when you just assume that prelates are lying.

  3. All prayers and good intentions for his recovery.

    Photo seems to indicate the Pontiff is physically unhealthy, i.e., morbidly obese. Other photos show the same.

    Not good.

    Also, on other breaking news, the public resignation of Fr. Zollner, and his letter of resignation repudiating the Pontiff’s sex abuse commission, is the SECOND PUBLIC RESIGNATION and REPUDIATION of the so-called sex abuse commission of Pontiff Francis, preceded by that of Marie Collins a few years sgo.

    ZERO CREDIBILITY for “the-great-reform-pontificate-of-team-Ivereigh-Cupich-McElroy-Francis.”

  4. Sciatica, diverticulitis, knee difficulties and now bronchial trouble. Prayers, and prayers for his spiritual wellbeing.

    Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

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