Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Pope gives new details on hospitalization

May 01, 2023

Pope Francis discussed the illness that led to his brief hospitalization late in March, during an exchange with reporters on his return flight from Hungary.

“I had severe acute pneumonia,” the Pope revealed.

That explanation contradicts statements issued by Vatican officials during the Pope’s stay in the Gemelli Hospital. The Vatican had originally attributed the Pope’s hospitalization to a “respiratory infection,” and later to “bronchitis”—specifically denying that he suffered from pneumonia.

Last week a friend reported that the Pope had been unconscious when he arrived at the hospital. Pope Francis contradicted that report as well. “I didn’t lose consciousness,” he said, but he said “I had a very high fever.”

Pope Francis responded quickly to treatment in the hospital. He was discharged after three days, and quickly resumed his normal schedule, showing no lingering signs of his bout with the disease.

Just two days after he was rushed to the hospital, after suffering breathing difficulties following a public audience on March 29, the Pope was feeling well enough to visit a ward for pediatric cancer patients—a visit that would not likely have been approved if the Pontiff had a contagious disease. Pneumonia is not regarded as contagious if it is the result of chronic bronchitis. Vatican reporters have speculated that the Pope’s dramatic gain in weight in recent months is the result of steroid treatment to combat chronic bronchitis. The Vatican has not directly addressed that speculation.


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  • Posted by: JimKcda - May. 01, 2023 10:58 PM ET USA

    It always sounds “wrong” when politicians lie to us, but it it just sounds “sinful” when priests or Bishops or the Pope tell us lies! All “for our own good,” of course! Ha! It is a shame that we can’t believe anything that comes from the Vatican. All based on political reasons, for cover-ups or whatever. An old saying; “you can go to Hell for lying, same as stealing.” I wonder if any of them remember the kid’s story about “The boy who called Wolf.”