Pope Francis is being hospitalized for several days due to a respiratory infection

These are photos of Pope Francis on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican. I haven’t seen photos of him in a while, and I didn’t realize that he’s using a wheelchair with such regularity now. I also didn’t realize how much weight he’s gained in recent months. That was always a health concern for Francis – Vatican doctors tried to put him on a low-carb diet because of how much weight he’s gained in recent years. The diet didn’t stick, because that man loves pizza and pasta. Unfortunately, that’s not the only health issue Francis is facing. Shortly after these photos were taken, Francis was checked into the hospital for a respiratory infection. Poor guy.

Pope Francis will be hospitalized for several days for treatment of a respiratory infection, the Vatican said on Wednesday, raising concerns over the health of the pontiff, who is 86 and has a recent history of medical challenges.

“In recent days Pope Francis complained of some respiratory difficulties, and this afternoon he went to Policlinico A. Gemelli for some medical checks,” the Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement, referring to the Rome hospital that traditionally treats popes. “The outcome of these showed a respiratory infection (excluding Covid-19 infection) that will require several days of appropriate hospital medical treatment.” He added, “Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer.”

After his morning audience, Francis — who as a young man survived severe pneumonia and had part of a lung removed — was taken in an ambulance to the Gemelli hospital and underwent a chest CT scan and other tests, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. His entourage expressed “relief” at the results of the medical checks, the news agency said, including his blood’s oxygen saturation, which was apparently fine. Earlier in the day, the Vatican said the hospital visit had been planned.

Francis, who became pope 10 years ago, has knee problems and sciatica that have caused a severe limp and have, in recent months, often required him to use a wheelchair. In the summer of 2021, he underwent major intestinal surgery.

[From The NY Times]

It feels like Pope Francis is just at that moment of his life as an elderly man where everything starts to go wrong. Like, it’s just one medical situation after another, like dominos falling. It’s his weight, it’s the knee problems, it’s his lungs. According to the Vatican spokesperson, Francis had a “good first night” in the hospital and things are looking positive for his recovery.

I absolutely wonder if someone showed him these AI-generated photos where he’s wearing a puffer and attending Burning Man. I hope they gave him some joy this week.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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12 Responses to “Pope Francis is being hospitalized for several days due to a respiratory infection”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    His weight could be making the other issues worse and yeah am quite shocked at the weight gain, could be it also be down to bloating from medical treatments/drugs?

    Hope he recovers.

    • North of Boston says:

      Not that you can tell / diagnosis someone from looking at them, but it physically reminds of someone I knew who in their 80s was having cardiac issues, which caused fluid to build up in their abdomen and lower body. It gave them that same distended look. It made them super uncomfortable and caused mobility issues.

      They kept talking to their doctor about it (this was in 2020 when office visits weren’t happening). It wasn’t taken seriously until they finally wound up in the ER in respiratory distress, were put on IV Lasix and lost something like 25 lbs of fluid retention in 3 days. When they got released, they had a new cardiologist who would actually follow them and instructions to monitor their pulse ox and weight and call if their oxygen went out of range or they gained more than 5 pounds because the doc wanted to see them and adjust their medication to keep the fluid retention under control.

    • SarahLee says:

      Oof. He has gained a ton of weight. Wow. That’s not good; especially at his age. He looks very bloated – almost like a heart failure patient. I hope that is not the case.

  2. Nancy says:

    I read an article that said he’s using the wheelchair due to knee issues that should be operated on but that he has a bad reaction to general anesthesia so he doesn’t want to risk surgery. He could be gaining weight because he isn’t mobile enough. 🙏for a swift recovery from this infection.

  3. NG_76 says:

    He hid child molesters and allowed them to move from parish to parish. The Catholic Church is a monstrosity.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      They also covered up an abduction and likely murder of Emanuela Orlandi the daughter of a Vatican employee who lived in Vatican City. Highly recommend you watch The Vatican Girl documentary about it on Netflix – they know what happened to her and the continued cover up goes all the way up to the Pope himself (granted it happened when it was Pope John Paul but Popes after him have continued the party line of ‘nothing to see here’).

      • Frippery says:

        I’m all for placing blame when it is deserved, but that happened 40 years ago, there are *a lot* of theories about what actually happened to her, and the investigation was reopened under this pope, Francis.

      • Ameerah M says:

        They were absolutely involved.

  4. Chaine says:

    Covid, they just won’t come out and say it

  5. LIONE says:

    Grayish skin and heart failure bloat, yeah, he won’t live long.

  6. HeyKay says:

    I needed to double check. OK he’s 84. With a list of physical problems.
    If it’s Covid at his age, be careful.

    I’m a fallen away Catholic. I and all my siblings attend Catholic grade schools and Mass every day. I thought John-Paul who grew up poor, lived thru WWII, etc. Was a Pope to respect.
    Since he passed, no one at the Vatican or any continuing Holy Father gets my respect.

    Let him retire, get a younger man in place, say early 60’s.

  7. Rnot says:

    Supposedly, both Nostradamus and St. Malachy predicted a new pope in 2023. Francis certainly looks frail. I’m guessing the college of cardinals will choose someone pretty conservative in reaction to Francis’ “progressive” ways. So much change coming this year.