| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Pope Francis’ lung inflammation persists after cancelling trip

Pope Francis is still experiencing breathing difficulties and lung inflammation, but his condition is stable and he does not have a temperature, the Vatican announced on Wednesday. He is also still receiving antibiotic therapy.

After having to postpone his activities due to a sick episode late last week, the pope had a CT scan at a hospital in Rome. The test found the inflammation but ruled out pneumonia.

As a young man in his native Argentina, Pope Francis had a portion of one of his lungs removed.

“Dear brothers and sisters good morning and welcome,” the pope said at his weekly audience on Wednesday, held indoors in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall.

The 86-year-old pontiff sounded wheezy and limited his speaking at the event, held on the day after he had to cancel a trip to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on doctor’s orders.

He said an aide would read his main text in his place, “since I am still not well with this flu and (my) voice is not nice”.

Francis spoke again at the end of his audience, to call for the continuation of a truce in the Gaza Strip, the release of all hostages, and humanitarian aid access into the territory.

“We call for peace,” he said, also mentioning Ukraine.

The pope, who is getting on-the-ground reports from Gaza’s Catholic parish, expressed concern for the lack of water, bread and the suffering of ordinary people.

  • Reuters