Pope Francis was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Rome on Wednesday after suffering from alleged respiratory issues, cancelling several audiences for the next two days as doctors are keeping the head of the Roman Catholic Church for observation.
Pope Francis, 86, had been scheduled for an appointment at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, according to Holy See Press Office director Matteo Bruni, who stated Wednesday in a press release that the Supreme Pontiff had gone to the hospital for “some previously scheduled check-ups.”
However, Italian media are claiming that while Pope Francis carried out his usual Wednesday morning audience, he cancelled an interview with the television programme “A Sua Immagine” with the presenter Lorena Bianchetti, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance, newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reports.
The newspaper claims that Pope Francis may be suffering from chronic bronchitis and asthma caused by stress, asserting that a CT scan of the Pope showed some type of negative result but that doctors wished to observe the Pope for the next few days at the hospital.
As a result, the Pope is alleged to have cancelled events for at least the next two days, although the claims have not been substantiated by the Vatican.
The possible health issue would be just the latest for Pope Francis, who underwent colonic surgery in July of 2021 and stayed in the hospital for ten days as a result.
Shortly after the 2021 surgery, Luis Badilla, editor of the semi-official Vatican news aggregator Il Sismografo claimed that the Pope’s health situation was “severe” and stated, “The Holy Father will certainly return to the Vatican to resume his path in the footsteps of Peter but he will never be the same again.”
Over the last year or so Pope Francis has also been often seen using a wheelchair and stick due to difficulties in walking, largely due to a prior ligament injury in his right knee. Pope Francis underwent knee surgery last year in May.
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