Pope Francis will spend several days in the hospital after being diagnosed with a non-COVID-19 respiratory infection, according to a Vatican announcement on Wednesday.
The Pope had breathing difficulties, leading him to seek medical attention at Gemelli Hospital. Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, confirmed that tests identified a respiratory infection requiring hospital care.
Bruni also mentioned that Pope Francis is touched by the supportive messages received and expressed appreciation for the prayers and solidarity.
Pope Francis was previously admitted to Gemelli Hospital in July 2021 for surgery to treat diverticulitis, an inflammation of the intestinal wall. In a January interview with the Associated Press, the 86-year-old Pope revealed that his diverticulitis had recurred but maintained that he was in relatively good health.
The Pope has also faced issues with his right knee since last year, necessitating the use of a cane and wheelchair. He informed the AP that the fracture had healed without surgery due to laser and magnet therapy.
As of Wednesday night, Pope Francis’s agenda for Thursday and Friday includes two events: a meeting 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.
Vatican News reported that Pope Francis is grateful for the prayers and support he has received as he undergoes medical examinations at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital. Earlier on Wednesday morning, he presided over the customary General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.