Pope Francis has ‘inflammation of the lungs,’ but hopes to travel to Dubai
Pope Francis revealed that he has an “inflammation of the lungs” when he greeted pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on Nov. 26, in a live television broadcast from the chapel of Santa Marta in the Vatican residence where he is living, and not from the papal study window on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace as he normally does. Pilgrims followed his message on large screens in the square.
In a further indicator of his condition, he did not read the catechesis as he usually does, but only recited the Angelus prayer, imparted the blessing and, at the end, wished people a Good Sunday and asked them to pray for him. A priest from the Secretariat of State, Monsignor Paolo Braida, sitting beside him, read the text of the catechesis.
Pope Francis did not read the catechesis as he usually does, but only recited the Angelus prayer, imparted the blessing and asked people to pray for him.
Francis had a butterfly needle on his right hand, covered by a bandage, which is used to draw blood from superficial veins or administer medications or intravenous fluids.
America has learned from an informed source that Pope Francis does not have pneumonia, and a doctor consulted by America said that the pope “probably has a severe bronchitis, that is being treated by antibiotics” and said the butterfly needle enabled his medical team to monitor his condition through analysis of the blood.
Yesterday, Nov. 25, the Vatican announced that the pope had “a light flu” and so all audiences scheduled for that morning were canceled, including one with the president of Guinea Bissau. America learned that other private audiences that the pope had arranged for the afternoon were also canceled. An informed source said the pope had “a slight fever.”
In a communique to the press later that day, the Vatican said Pope Francis underwent a CAT scan in the afternoon at a branch of the Gemelli hospital on the nearby Tiber Island. The scan ruled out “the risk of pulmonary complications.”
Francis, who will turn 87 on Dec. 17, looked tired and coughed a few times as he sat throughout the Sunday broadcast, but he smiled and, in the post-Angelus text read by the Vatican monsignor, he confirmed his intention to travel to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, next weekend to address the UN conference on climate, COP 28. He is due to travel on Dec.1.
Francis, who will turn 87 on Dec. 17, looked tired and coughed a few times as he sat throughout the Sunday broadcast.
“In addition to war, our world is threatened by another great danger, the climate, that puts at risk life on earth, especially for the future generations. And this is contrary to the plan of God who created everything for life,” he said. “For this reason,” he added, “next weekend, I will travel to the United Arab Emirates to address COP28 in Dubai, on Saturday.” He thanked “all those who will accompany me with prayer on this trip, and with the commitment to take to heart the safeguarding of the common home.”
Referring to war, Francis recalled that yesterday, Nov. 25, “the martyred Ukraine commemorated the Holodomor, the genocide perpetrated by the Soviet regime 90 years ago that caused the death by hunger of millions of persons. That lacerating wound instead of healing has been made more painful yet by the atrocities of the war that continues to make this dear people suffer.”
He called on all believers to “continue to pray without tiring for all the peoples torn apart by conflicts, because prayer is the force of peace that can interrupt the spiral of hate, break the circle of vendetta, and open unexpected paths of reconciliation.”
In his message, Pope Francis also spoke of the 50 day long Israeli-Palestinian conflict that started on Oct. 7, with the attack by Hamas that killed 1,200 Israelis and the bombing in Gaza carried out in retaliation by Israel that has killed over 15,000 Palestinians, including at least 6,000 children.
He said, “today we thank God because there is finally a truce between Israel and Palestine and some hostages have been released. Let us pray that soon all of them will be [released]—we think of their families, and that humanitarian aid will enter Gaza and that dialogue can begin: it’s the only way, the one road to peace. He who does not want to dialogue, does not want peace.”
As reported in America, Francis was hospitalized at the Gemelli Hospital on March 29 for an “infectious based bronchitis that required the administration of an infusion [intravenous] based antibiotic therapy.”
He was also hospitalized last July 7 for an operation for abdominal surgery that involved “laparotomy and plastic surgery on the abdominal wall with prostheses under general anesthesia.” He also underwent surgery on July 4, 2021, “for diverticular stenosis” that involved “a hemicolectomy on the left [side].”
As a young man, in 1957, Francis underwent surgery in Buenos Aires to remove cysts from the top lobe of the right lung, as he recalled in a book on La salud de los papas by the Argentine journalist, Nelson Castro.