The Vatican press office has confirmed, as initially reported by Italian media outlets, that Pope Francis went to the hospital to undergo some testing.
On the morning of June 6, 2023, 86-year-old Pope Francis went to Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital to undergo “clinical tests,” before returning to his residence at the Vatican, the Vatican press office stated early this afternoon. This confirms a previous report published by the Italian news agency, ANSA. According to the Italian dailyLa Repubblica, the Pope underwent a “nuclear medicine exam.”
“This morning Pope Francis went to Gemelli Polyclinic to undergo some clinical tests and returned to the Vatican before noon,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the press office. According to La Repubblica, the tests took place between 10:40 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. The article states that the Pope underwent “a nuclear medicine examination necessary to provide information on internal organs and tissues.”
Pope Francis had no audiences scheduled for Tuesday, June 6; Tuesdays are usually light days at the Vatican.
On Wednesday morning, the Pope is scheduled to deliver his catechesis as usual in St. Peter’s Square, and St. Therese’s relics are to be there. And this weekend, he is expected to sign a document on human fraternity with 29 Nobel Prize winners. He is also expected to lead the Angelus prayer at midday, as he does every Sunday.
2 Previous hospital visits
On March 29, the Pope was rushed to the Gemelli hospital with acute pneumonia. “We caught it in time, they told me; if we had waited a few more hours it would have been more serious,” the Pontiff told the Mexican TV station Telemundo in an interview on May 25.
The Pope had part of one lung removed when he was a youth.
In July 2021, the Argentine pope was hospitalized for 10 days at the Gemelli Hospital for a major colon operation. That was his first hospitalization since the start of his pontificate.
“It’s not like him to give up”
At 86, Pope Francis has not chosen to lighten his daily schedule. This summer, he will be attending World Youth Day in Lisbon, from August 2 to 6, and will also take the opportunity to visit the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on August 5.
He will travel again less than a month after the WYD, for a five-day trip to Mongolia, a country no pope has ever visited before. He will return to Rome on September 4. On September 23, he will be in Marseille, France, for the Rencontres Méditerranéennes (Mediterranean meetings).
“He’s a hard worker. His capacity to work is impressive,” a cardinal close to the Pope recently confided to I.MEDIA. While the question of a possible papal resignation is frequently raised – especially after his lengthy hospitalization in the summer of 2021 – some in the Vatican believe that the Pope wants to keep going until the end.
“It’s not like him to give up,” continues the cardinal who meets Pope Francis regularly. He adds, however, that the Pontiff is “afraid of losing his memory.”
“If he lost it, he might consider resigning,” he said. Last December, the Pope confided for the first time that at the beginning of his pontificate he wrote a letter of renunciation “in case of impediment for health reasons.”
In March, he told Swiss television station RSI that he regularly seeks advice on the subject from people close to him – including “certain intelligent cardinals.”