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After a brief hospital visit, the Pope resumes his meetings

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on February 14, 2024

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 02/29/24

After going to the hospital for some check-ups on Wednesday, February 28, the Pope resumed his meetings Thursday.

Pope Francis resumed his meetings at the Vatican on Thursday, February 29, after having canceled his appointments due to flu-like symptoms since last Saturday. According to his official agenda the 87-year-old Pontiff had four private audiences this morning, without broadcast speeches. On Wednesday, following the general audience, the Holy Father went to the hospital briefly for unspecified tests.

This morning, the Pope received Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life; Father Andrzej Komorowski, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter; the Patriarch of Lisbon, Archbishop Rui Manuel Sousa Valério; and the 15 or so bishops from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna on an “ad limina” visit.

A brief hospital visit

Yesterday, Wednesday, February 28, Pope Francis presided over the Wednesday general audience in Paul VI Hall, but confessed to the crowd that he had a “cold.” His voice hoarse, he did not read the catechesis as he usually does; a Vatican official read it for him but the Pope did greet several members of the crowd. He also did not read the speech to the members of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church, which he met the same morning. 

At the end of the morning, the Holy See released a statement saying that the Pontiff had gone to the Fatebenefratelli Isola Tiberina – Gemelli Isola’ hospital in Rome, “for some check-ups,” before returning to the Vatican.

According to Italian daily La Stampa, Pope Francis went to the hospital to make sure he did not have pneumonia. The Reuters press agency reported that he underwent a CT scan. 

Shortly after this brief hospitalization, the Holy See confirmed an upcoming meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday, March 2, a sign that the head of the Catholic Church intends to resume his audiences. On February 29, the Holy See Press Office also published the Pope’s schedule for the celebrations that he will preside over during Holy Week, from March 24 to 31. 

A persistent issue

On November 25, 2023, as the Pope was suffering from acute bronchitis, he went to the Gemelli hospital for a pulmonary examination to rule out the risk of complications. This episode left the Pope visibly weakened, to the point of having to cancel at the last minute his planned trip to Dubai for the UN’s climate conference, COP28 (December 1-3).

Again in January, the Pope confided that he was suffering from a slight case of bronchitis, when he received communications workers from the Church of France.

Follow updates on the Pope’s health here.

Pope FrancisPope Francis healthVatican
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