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Tags: pope francis illness lung inflammation weekly audience

Pope Francis' Lung Inflammation Persists

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 02:22 PM EST

Pope Francis' lung inflammation and associated breathing difficulties persist, but he is in stable condition with no fever, the Vatican said on Wednesday, adding he was continuing an antibiotic therapy.

Late last week, the pope underwent a CT scan at a Rome hospital after a bout of flu forced him to cancel his activities. The test excluded pneumonia but detected the inflammation.

One part of one of the pope's lungs was removed when Francis was a young man in his native Argentina.

"Dear brothers and sisters good morning and welcome," the pope said at his weekly audience on Wednesday, held indoors in the Vatican's Paul VI hall.

The 86-year-old pontiff sounded wheezy and limited his speaking at the event, held on the day after he had to cancel a trip to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on doctor's orders.

He said an aide would read his main text in his place, "since I am still not well with this flu and [my] voice is not nice."

He was greeted in the packed hall by applause and chants of "Viva il papa" (Long live the pope).

Francis spoke again at the end of his audience, to call for the continuation of a truce in the Gaza Strip, the release of all hostages, and humanitarian aid access into the territory.

"We call for peace," he said, also mentioning Ukraine.

The pope, who is getting on-the-ground reports from Gaza's Catholic parish, expressed concern for the lack of water, bread and the suffering of ordinary people.

"War is always a defeat, everybody loses [apart from] one group that profits a lot: arms manufacturers who make good money from the death of others," he said.

Francis, who has trouble walking due to a knee ailment and sometimes uses a wheelchair, arrived at his Wednesday audience walking, aided by a cane.

His audience also featured a brief show by circus artists, including a clown, acrobats and jugglers, who performed on the podium alongside Francis.

He thanked them for offering a "moment of joy."

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Pope Francis presided at his weekly audience with the public at the Vatican, but he said that he's still unwell and asked an aide to read his remarks for him on Wednesday, a day after canceling an overseas trip. Francis, who will turn 87 on Dec. 17 and had part of one lung...
pope francis illness lung inflammation weekly audience
Wednesday, 29 November 2023 02:22 PM
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