Pope Francis will be hospitalized for “some days” after being diagnosed with a respiratory infection, the Vatican said Wednesday.
“In recent days Pope Francis has complained of some difficulty breathing and this afternoon went to [Gemelli Hospital] to carry out some medical tests. The results of these tests showed a respiratory infection (a COVID-19 infection was excluded) that will require some days of opportune medical treatment in the hospital,” Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni said Wednesday evening.
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages he received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” Bruni added.
Bruni had issued a brief statement earlier in the afternoon of March 29 to say the pope was at Gemelli Hospital “for some previously scheduled checkups.”
One source told America that Francis experienced the pains when he returned to Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where he resides, after conducting the usual Wednesday public audience where he seemed to be in good form. He canceled an interview with an Italian journalist that had been planned for after the audience.
When he experienced the pains, Massimiliano Strappetti, his personal health care assistant who always accompanies him, decided to call the ambulance, which took him to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome where he was taken immediately to the coronary unit for check-ups. He is still in hospital, and all audiences in the Vatican have been canceled until Saturday, a senior Vatican source told America.
As always, pray for the pope!