Pope Francis has a respiratory infection and will require hospitalization for several days, the Vatican confirmed on Wednesday night.
That’s according to The Telegraph.
The Vatican had said the 86-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church had been taken to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for “previously scheduled checks”.
However, Italian media reported that the pontiff was suffering from “heart problems” and “breathing difficulties” and had been taken to hospital by ambulance.
On Wednesday evening, the Pope’s spokesman said: “In the last few days, Pope Francis has complained of breathing difficulties.
“This afternoon he was admitted to Gemelli Hospital for medical checks. The results of these checks showed a respiratory infection, not Covid-19, which will require several days of hospital therapy.”
At least three leading Italian newspapers reported that Pope Francis had started to suffer from breathing difficulties and heart problems after his weekly audience on Wednesday morning.
He was photographed grimacing while getting into and out of his white “popemobile” during the audience in St Peter’s Square.
Vatican sources said the Pope’s appointments for Thursday and Friday had been canceled. His admission to hospital comes just days before Holy Week and the lead-up to Easter, traditionally one of the busiest times for the Pope.
He is due to celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend, followed next week by Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and finally Easter Sunday on April 9.
In December, Francis revealed that several years ago he signed a letter of resignation to be used if he is unable to perform his duties for health reasons.