The Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis has a respiratory infection and will need to spend “a few days” in hospital in Rome. This comes after Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Pope was taken to hospital for "some previously scheduled checks".
The latest update said the pontiff had breathing difficulties in recent days but does not have Covid. The statement also said the infection would "require a few days of appropriate hospital medical therapy".
The statement acknowledged the well wishes the Pope has received since news of his illness broke, saying: "Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer.”
Pope Francis, 86, has multiple events scheduled ahead of Easter weekend. A Palm Sunday Mass is scheduled for this weekend and Holy Week and Easter Celebrations will commence in the week following. The Pope is also scheduled to visit Hungary at the end of April.
The Pope resided over his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square today (March 29) and seemed in good spirits.
This is not the first medical emergency the Pope has endured during his time in the position. In 2021, Pope Francis underwent surgery to treat a colon problem at the same hospital he is currently in. In January of this year, he confirmed the condition had returned.
Despite his ailments, the Pope has remained active and has undertaken trips abroad this year. He visited the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan in February.