As of Thursday morning, the pope’s agenda lists no appointments for the day for March 30. He is still scheduled to preside over a Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 2 for Palm Sunday and to give the usual Sunday Angelus address.
“In recent days Pope Francis has complained of some difficulty breathing and this afternoon went to [Gemelli Hospital] to carry out some medical tests. The results of these tests showed a respiratory infection (a COVID-19 infection was excluded) that will require some days of opportune medical treatment in the hospital,” Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni said Wednesday evening.
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages he received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” Bruni added.
Bruni had issued a brief statement earlier in the afternoon of March 29 to say the pope was at Gemelli Hospital “for some previously scheduled checkups.”
Gemelli is the same hospital where Pope Francis was hospitalized in July 2021 when he underwent surgery on his colon for diverticulitis, or inflammation of the intestinal wall.
In an interview with the Associated Press in January, Pope Francis disclosed that the diverticulitis had “returned.” At the time, the 86-year-old pontiff — who traveled to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in late January — insisted he was in relatively good condition.
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