Concerns Addressed: Pope Francis Undergoes Diagnostic Testing After Weekly Audience in Rome

Pope Francis Undergoes Diagnostic Testing After Weekly Audience
Pope Francis delivers his address at the weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall, Vatican City, 28 February 2024

Pope Francis delivers his address

Pope Francis was sent to a hospital in Rome for diagnostic testing after a papal audience. The 86-year-old Pope recently had the flu and arrived at the Gemelli Hospital on Tiber Island in a small white Fiat 500. The Vatican did not provide further details about the specific reasons for the hospital visit. In recent weeks, Pope Francis has been dealing with mild flu symptoms and has canceled appointments on Saturday and Monday.

Earlier the same day, the Pope was seen being pushed in a wheelchair into the audience hall at the Vatican, appearing weary as he sat down. Despite his recent health challenges, he appeared as usual for the Sunday blessing from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Last week, Pope Francis coughed repeatedly during Ash Wednesday services, leading to concerns about his health.

The Pope has faced various health issues, including having part of one lung removed as a young man due to a respiratory infection and undergoing colon surgery in 2021. He has been using a wheelchair and cane since last year due to strained knee ligaments and a small knee fracture.

The Vatican had already canceled the annual spiritual retreat for this year in favor of personal spiritual exercises. Pope Francis, during Wednesday’s audience, marked the 25th anniversary of the ratification of the Anti-Personnel Mines Convention and expressed his concern for the victims of these devices and the cruelty of war. He also appealed for peace in the Middle East and Ukraine and prayed for the victims of attacks in Burkina Faso and Haiti.

 

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