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Pope still fighting infection, laments end of Gaza truce

Pope Francis meets with faithful at the end of his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/03/23

Pope Francis says he's improving from his bronchial infection, but still has a weakened voice. Invites the faithful to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Pope Francis assured that he’s “getting better,” but that his “voice is still not good,” as he asked Bishop Paolo Braida, an official at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, to read his Angelus reflection and appeals this December 3, the first Sunday of Advent.

It’s been nine days since the Pope reported a “slight flu,” and went to the hospital for scans to rule out pneumonia.

Five days later, on Thursday, November 30, speaking to a group on ethics in health management, the Pope quipped, “As you can see, I am alive.”

“The doctor would not let me go to Dubai [for the COP28 climate conference; he was scheduled to go December 1-3]. The reason is that it is very hot there, and you go from heat to air conditioning. And this, with this bronchial condition [is not convenient]. Thank God it was not pneumonia. It is a very acute, infectious bronchitis. I no longer have a fever, but I am still on antibiotics and things like that,” he added.

Thus for the second Sunday in a row, the Pope elected to have Bishop Braida read his Angelus address, although as he did last week, the Pope led the praying of the Angelus and gave the apostolic blessing. He also offered his concluding wishes for a good lunch, and the request that we not to forget to pray for him.

His appeals included his pleas for an end to the conflict in the Holy Land:

In Israel and Palestine the situation is serious. It pains us that the truce has been broken: this means death, destruction, misery. Many hostages have been freed, but many are still in Gaza. Let us think about them, their families who had seen a light, a hope to embrace their loved ones again.

In Gaza there is much suffering; there is a lack of basic necessities. I hope that all those who are involved may reach a new ceasefire agreement as soon as possible and find solutions other than weapons, trying to take courageous paths to peace.

Holy LandPope FrancisPope Francis health
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