27 November 2023

Pope Francis receiving antibiotics intravenously for lung problem, Vatican says

27 November 2023

Pope Francis is receiving antibiotics intravenously to treat a lung inflammation and will scale back some appointments – but he does not have pneumonia or fever, the Vatican said.

Francis himself revealed on Sunday that he was suffering from the inflammation problem, explaining why he did not keep his weekly window appointment to greet people in St Peter’s Square.

Instead, he gave his blessing from the chapel of the hotel on Vatican grounds where he lives.

Vatican press office director, Matteo Bruni, said in a written statement on Monday that the inflammation was causing some respiratory difficulties for Francis, whose 87th birthday is next month.

“The condition of the pope is good and stationary, he doesn’t have a fever, and the respiratory situation is in clear improvement,” Mr Bruni said.

A CT scan, which the pope underwent on Saturday afternoon at a Rome hospital, ruled out pneumonia, Mr Bruni added.

To aid the pope’s recovery, “some important commitments expected for the next days have been postponed so he can dedicate the time and desired energy” to his recovery, the spokesman said.

Other appointments, “of institutional character or easier to maintain given the current health conditions, have been maintained”, Mr Bruni added.

He did not spell out which appointments were being put off. But it appeared that Francis was keeping his private audience with the president of Paraguay Monday morning.

In televised remarks on Sunday, Francis indicated he is going ahead with a three-day trip, beginning on December 1, to the United Arab Emirates, to deliver a speech on climate change at the upcoming United Nations Cop28 climate talks.

When he gave his blessing on Sunday, a bandage, holding in place a cannula for intravenous treatment, was clearly visible on his right hand.

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