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Papal Events Cancelled As Pope Francis Is Hospitalised

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VATICAN, ROME – Pope Francis, 86, will be hospitalised for several days for treatment of a respiratory infection, the Vatican said on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

The news has raised concerns over the health of the pontiff, who has a recent history of medical challenges.

“In recent days Pope Francis complained of some respiratory difficulties, and this afternoon he went to Policlinico A. Gemelli for some medical checks,” the Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. “The outcome of these showed a respiratory infection (excluding Covid-19 infection) that will require several days of appropriate hospital medical treatment.”

After his morning audience, the pope was taken to the Gemelli hospital in Rome, where he underwent a chest CT scan and other tests. His entourage expressed “relief” at the results of the medical checks, including his blood’s oxygen saturation, which was apparently fine.

Francis has knee problems and sciatica and has had a severe limp in recent months and often requires a wheelchair. In the summer of 2021, he underwent major intestinal surgery.

Despite his recent health issues, Francis has repeatedly said he views the pontificate as a lifelong mission and retirement is not on his “agenda”.

“I see no reason why it should not be so,” he told a group of Jesuits in the Democratic Republic of Congo last month. “And the historical tradition is important.”

The Vatican has not released any further information on the pope’s condition, but many have expressed their support and well wishes for the pontiff.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said, “We assure Pope Francis of our closeness in prayer and in gratitude for his leadership of the Church. We pray for his recovery and for all who care for him.”

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