Nuevo Culture

Pope Francis in Hospital According to Vatican — Here’s What We Know

On Wednesday (March 29), the Vatican announced that Pope Francis was hospitalized for a respiratory infection and would need a few days of therapy.

The non-COVID-19-related infection was found during a routine medical checkup at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital. The 86-year-old pope had complained of breathing difficulties in recent days. On Wednesday morning, as customary, he presided over an audience in St. Peter’s Square and showed no signs of illness.

When the pope was a young man, he developed a respiratory infection, which led to doctors removing part of a lung. The pope was hospitalized in July 2021 when part of his colon was removed because of diverticulitis, an inflammation or infection caused by pouches that form in the digestive tract. He was hospitalized for 10 days for the condition. Last year, the pope was confined to a wheelchair after suffering from a fracture and torn ligament to his right knee.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said, “Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer.”

Pope Francis was elected in March 2013 after his predecessor, Benedict XVI, became the first pope to renounce the papacy in more than 700 years. At the start of his papacy, the pope said he would resign if he was unable to run the Catholic Church because of failing health. Last month, however, he said the papacy was a life-long role.

“I believe that the pope’s ministry is ad vitam (for life),” he said during a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo last month. “I see no reason why it should not be so. I think that the ministry of the great patriarchs is always for life! And the historical tradition is important.”