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Pope gets tested at hospital, results come back fine

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 11/25/23

A CT scan at Gemelli was to rule out any pulmonary complications.

Pope Francis underwent a CT scan at the Gemelli hospital this November 25, 2023, “to rule out the risk of pulmonary complications,” announced the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, a few hours after announcing the cancellation of Pope Francis’ audiences this morning due to a “slight flu-like condition.”

The Press Office reports that the medical examination was negative, and that the Pope subsequently returned home. The Argentine pontiff, who turns 87 in a few days, has suffered a few health scares over the past year. He is expected to travel soon, to attend COP28 in Dubai from December 1 to 3.

The Pope, who had a severe lung infection when he was a young man, has already had respiratory problems this year. On March 29, he was taken to Gemelli, where doctors diagnosed “infectious bronchitis.” He underwent antibiotic treatment and left hospital on April 1. He later confided that it was acute pneumonia. “If we had waited a few more hours, it would have been more serious,” he told Mexican television.

When he was 21 years old, the future pope developed an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the lung, which led to surgery to remove three pulmonary cysts and a small part of his upper right lung.

This Saturday morning, the Pope was due to receive the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaru Sassoko Embalò. He had kept to his normal schedule the previous day, meeting with the President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, a delegation of Italian mayors, and participants in a meeting of university pastoral workers.

For the time being, the rest of his agenda remains unchanged. Unless he announces otherwise in the next few hours, he will pray the midday Angelus prayer for this Sunday as normal.

The following day, on the morning of November 27, he is due to receive a delegation of French abuse victims who have undergone a process of reparation with the Brothers of Saint Gabriel congregation.

The Argentine pontiff, who turns 87 on December 17, has been hospitalized twice this year, in March for pneumonia, and in June for an abdominal operation that required general anesthesia. Interviewed by Italian television on November 1, the head of the Catholic Church was nevertheless reassuring about his state of health. “Now I feel very well, I can eat anything,” he told journalists.

After 2022 was marked by his difficulty in standing due to his knee problems, and by generally having a cardinal preside at the Eucharistic celebrations at the altar, the year 2023 saw an improvement in his mobility. The Pope is now able to walk short distances, especially during general audiences.

He has also made some long and complex journeys this year, notably to the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Mongolia, although he remains in his wheelchair most of the time.

However, there have been a few incidents in the news recently. “I’m not feeling well,” said Pope Francis when he received a delegation from the Conference of European Rabbis on November 6, 2023, apologizing for not reading his prepared speech. He did, however, give other speeches during the day, and his decision not to speak publicly to the rabbis was interpreted by some as a “diplomatic flu,” in order to keep his distance from the war between Israel and Hamas.

Pope Francis health
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