Pope Francis Hospitalized In Rome, Will Stay A ‘Few Days,’ Vatican Says
Pope Francis during the General Audience in St. Peter's Square. Vatican City (Vatican), March 29th, 2023
Grzegorz Galazka/Archivio Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Pope Francis will be hospitalized in Rome for a “few days” after a scheduled checkup on Wednesday, according to the Vatican.

Francis, 86, visited the Gemelli Hospital Wednesday afternoon for his checkup, Holy See spokesman Matteo Bruni said. The Vatican later said that Francis went to the hospital for a respiratory infection after experiencing breathing difficulties and will remain hospitalized for a “few days,” the BBC reported. The pope canceled his audiences through Friday.

A statement from the Vatican said that the pope’s condition would “require a few days of appropriate hospital medical therapy.”

“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” the statement added. The pope appeared to be in relatively good condition when he was in front of a general audience earlier on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

The pope’s hospitalization comes a few days before Palm Sunday and Holy Week ending with Easter Sunday on April 9, a busy time for the religious leader.

Francis had part of a lung removed when he was a young man due to a respiratory infection, the Associated Press reported. Two years ago, the pope was in the Gemelli Hospital for 10 days after undergoing surgery to remove 13 inches of his colon.

The 86-year-old pontiff, who was elected pope 10 years ago, has dealt with an injury in his right knee for over a year, forcing him to use a wheelchair and a cane. Francis also told the AP in a January interview that his diverticulitis, bulges in the intestinal wall, had “returned” after his 2021 surgery, but he remained in good spirits.

“I’m in good health. For my age, I’m normal,” Francis said in January. “I might die tomorrow, but it’s under control. I’m in good health.”


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