Respiratory Illness Hospitalizes Pope Francis

Pope Francis | Image by AM113/Shutterstock

Pope Francis has been hospitalized due to an apparent respiratory infection.

The pope was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Wednesday after experiencing trouble breathing, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pope Francis had reportedly been experiencing some respiratory issues in the days prior and visited Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic for some medical tests.

The Vatican reported that the pope was not infected with COVID-19, but that he would remain in treatment for several days.

Vatican officials said that all events on the pope’s schedule for March 30 through March 31 would be canceled to allow for medical tests to continue.

This is not the only recent occurrence of the pope experiencing health issues.

Francis had previously undergone surgery to remove a large portion of his large intestine due to colon inflammation in 2021. The pope claimed that, despite the condition returning in January of this year, he is still in good health, according to the Catholic News Agency.

Pope Francis also had postulated the idea of “stepping aside” in 2021 due to complications with his mobility from an issue with strained ligaments in his knee, according to NBC News.

Pope Francis’ late predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, retired due to his declining health in 2013. He was the first pontiff to abdicate the papacy in 600 years, as previously noted by The Dallas Express.

“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages he’s received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” said the Vatican’s press office in a statement.

The pope still has a number of events on his schedule during the season of Lent as Easter draws closer. A papal mass is scheduled for Palm Sunday, April 2, followed by several important events from Holy Thursday on April 6 to Easter Monday on April 10, according to BBC News.

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