Pope Francis getting antibiotics intravenously for lung problem, limiting appointments, Vatican says

Pope Francis, sitting and holding a fist towards his chin, is projected on a large screen in front of a crowd in St. Peter's Square

A giant screen broadcasts Pope Francis coughing during the Angelus noon prayer, from the chapel of the hotel at the Vatican grounds where he lives, Nov. 26.  Francis skipped his weekly Sunday appearance at a window overlooking St. Peter's Square, a day after the Vatican said he was suffering from a mild flu. (AP/Alessandra Tarantino)

by Associated Press

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Pope Francis is receiving antibiotics intravenously to treat a lung inflammation and will scale back some appointments, but he doesn’t have pneumonia or fever, the Vatican said Nov. 27.

Francis himself on Nov. 26 revealed that he was suffering from the inflammation problem, explaining why he didn't keep his weekly window appointment to greet people in St. Peter's Square. Instead, he gave his blessing from the chapel of the hotel on Vatican grounds where he lives.

Vatican's press office director, Matteo Bruni, said in a written statement on Nov. 27 that the inflammation was causing some respiratory difficulties for Francis, whose 87th birthday is next month.

"The condition of the pope is good and stationary, he doesn't have a fever, and the respiratory situation is in clear improvement,'' Bruni said. A CT scan, which the pope underwent on the afternoon of Nov. 25 at a Rome hospital, ruled out pneumonia, Bruni added.

To aid the pope's recovery, "some important commitments expected for the next days have been postponed so he can dedicate the time and desired energy" to his recovery, the spokesman said.

Other appointments, "of institutional character or easier to maintain given the current health conditions, have been maintained," Bruni added.

The spokesman didn't spell out which appointments were being put off. Francis on the morning of Nov. 27 received in a private, half-hour-long audience the president of Paraguay, Santiago Peña, at his residence instead of the Apostolic Palace.

In televised remarks on Nov. 26, Francis indicated he was going ahead with a three-day trip, beginning on Dec. 1, to the United Arab Emirates, to deliver a speech on climate change at the upcoming United Nations COP28 climate talks.

When he gave his blessing on Nov. 25, a bandage, holding in place a cannula for intravenous treatment, was clearly visible on his right hand.

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