Pope has respiratory infection requiring few days in hospital: Vatican

March 30, 2023

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has been diagnosed with a respiratory infection and will require “a few days of appropriate hospital medical treatment”, the Vatican said on Wednesday.


The 86-year-old was admitted to Rome´s Gemelli hospital for checks earlier in the day after complaining of breathing difficulties, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. The pontiff, who this month marked 10 years as head of the Catholic Church, had earlier appeared in good spirits at his weekly audience at the Vatican, smiling as he greeted the faithful from his “popemobile”.

However, he was seen grimacing as he was helped getting into the vehicle. Italian media reported he was taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering from respiratory and cardiac problems.

His appointments for Thursday morning were cancelled, a Vatican source told AFP, adding that there was a possibility Francis could stay in hospital overnight. The Argentine pontiff suffers from chronic knee pain that has forced him to rely on a wheelchair in recent months.

The Gemelli was the same hospital where he underwent an operation on his colon in July 2021 after suffering from a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine.