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Pope Francis is hospitalized “a few days” for a respiratory infection

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Pope Francis has been hospitalized due to a respiratory infection, the Vatican said on Wednesday, which initially indicated that the pontiff had gone to the Roman Gemelli hospital for a medical check-up as planned. .

News concern about the health of the sovereign pontiff. Pope Francis, 86, was hospitalized on Wednesday March 29 in Rome. He suffers from a respiratory infection and will remain hospitalized “a few days”, announced in a press release the director of the press service of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni.

The examinations “have revealed a respiratory infection (excluding Covid 19 infection) which will require a few days of medical treatment in the hospital”, he specified.

Earlier, a source in the Vatican reported that Francis’ diary had been taken to the Roman Gemelli Hospital to carry out medical examinations.

The Vatican did not say whether the pope would be able to preside over Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican or the celebrations planned for Holy Week and Easter.

>> To read also: Faced with concerns about his health, the pope evokes the possibility of “putting himself aside”

The Italian press had questioned Matteo Bruni’s initial statement that this medical check-up was scheduled, reporting the cancellation at the last minute of a television interview that the pope was to give in the afternoon.

Thus, the Corriere della Sera reported that the pope had been transported by ambulance to the hospital after “heart problems”.

In the morning, the Argentine pope, who in mid-March crossed the 10th anniversary of his pontificate, had participated as every Wednesday in the weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square, during which he appeared smiling, greeting the followers of his “papamobile”.

Knee pain and diverticulitis

François, who has been in a wheelchair since May 2022 due to chronic knee pain, had already been hospitalized for 10 days at Gemelli Hospital in July 2021 for a major colon operation.

The pope said this year that he was again suffering from diverticulitis – an inflammation or infection of the colon, indicating that he had gained weight because of it but ensuring that he was not particularly worried.

His knee pain, which notably forced him to cancel several appointments in 2022 and to postpone a trip to Africa, is at the heart of conjecture around a possible resignation.

He always left the door open to this scenario, like his predecessor Benedict XVI, who had resigned, taking the whole world by surprise.

In July, François had confided that he could “no longer travel” at the same pace as before, going so far as to mention the possibility of “putting himself aside”.

But in February, he judged that the renunciation of a pope should “not become a fashion”, ensuring that this hypothesis was “not on his agenda for the moment”.

Caregivers follow him permanently, both in the Vatican and during his travels abroad, but his recent health problems have led him to officially create a new function, that of “personal health assistant” for which he has appointed a nurse. by Gemelli.

With AFP and Reuters

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