ROME – As a result of what the Vatican described on Monday as an inflammation of his lungs, for which he’s receiving antibiotic treatments, Pope Francis has postponed several commitments in coming days in order to preserve his strength for a planned Dec. 1-3 trip to Dubai for the COP-28 climate change summit.
Concern over the pontiff’s health arose Saturday after the Vatican issued a statement saying Francis was suffering from a “mild flu” and that he had gone to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for a CT scan to rule out pneumonia.
The next day, the pope did not preside over this Sunday Angelus address from his window in the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square as usual, but he did so via livestream from the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse where he lives, appearing with an IV in his hand and saying he was suffering from “pulmonary inflammation.”
In a statement Monday, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that the pope’s CT scan Saturday “ruled out pneumonia but showed pulmonary inflammation that caused some breathing difficulties.”
“For a greater effectiveness of the therapy, a cannula needle was positioned for an infusion of intravenous antibiotic therapy,” he said, saying Francis’s conditions are currently “good and stable, he does not have a fever, and his respiratory situation is clearly improving.”
In order to help facilitate the pope’s recovery, Bruni said some “important commitments” in coming days have been postponed so that Francis “can dedicate the desired time and energy to them.”
Other commitments “of an institutional character or which are easier to support given his current health conditions,” are still on the schedule.
Pope Francis Monday morning met with the President of Paraguay, Santiago Peña Palacios, and his entourage as his only engagement for the day.
The Vatican sent out an alert stating the pope is scheduled to hold his Wednesday general audience from 9a-10a local as usual. He is still expected to visit Dubai as planned. A press briefing on the trip is scheduled for Tuesday at 12:15p.m. local time.
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