Pope Francis, suffering from a “slight flu,” did not lead the midday Angelus from the window of the Apostolic Palace this November 26, 2023, but spoke from his residence at Casa Santa Marta.
“Today I cannot appear at the window because I have this problem of inflammation of the lungs, and Monsignor Braida will read the reflection,” the Pope explained, adding that the monsignor is familiar with the text because he prepares them each week, “and he always does it so well!” The Pope went on to pray the Angelus and give the apostolic blessing after the monsignor read the meditation.
He also gave his customary good-bye at the end, wishing everyone a good Sunday, and adding, “Don’t forget to pray for me!”
The Holy Father’s reflection was broadcast on the Vatican News website and on the giant screens in St. Peter’s Square. Rome’s forecast was a rather chilly 48 degrees at noon today.
Pope Francis underwent a CT scan at the Gemelli hospital on Saturday to rule out “pulmonary complications,” announced Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, a few hours after announcing the cancellation of Pope Francis’ audiences on November 25 due to his state of health.
The Press Office reported that the scans came back negative, and that the Pope had subsequently returned home.
Dialogue the only way to peace
After the Angelus, there was yet another appeal for peace in the world, particularly in Ukraine and the Holy Land.
Yesterday tormented Ukraine commemorated the Holodomor, the genocide perpetrated by the Soviet regime which, 90 years ago, caused millions of people to starve to death. That lacerating wound, instead of healing, is made even more painful by the atrocities of the war that continues to make that dear nation suffer.
For all peoples torn apart by conflicts, let us continue to pray tirelessly, because prayer is the force of peace that stops the spiral of hatred, that breaks the cycle of revenge and opens up unexpected paths of reconciliation.
Today let us thank God that there is finally a truce between Israel and Palestine, and some hostages have been freed. Let us pray that they will all be freed as soon as possible – think of their families! – that more humanitarian aid will enter Gaza, and that dialogue is insisted upon: It is the only way, the only way to achieve peace. Those who do not want dialogue do not want peace.
Another trip coming soon
The Argentine pontiff, who turns 87 in a few days, has suffered a few health scares over the past year. But he is due to attend COP28 in Dubai from December 1 to 3, his 45th apostolic journey outside Italy.
In order to keep him rested for this trip, it seems likely that his audiences for the coming days will be cancelled, but no official information to this effect has yet been released.
On the morning of November 27, he is due to receive the new president of Paraguay, as well as a delegation of French abuse victims who have undergone a process of reparation with the congregation of the Brothers of Saint Gabriel.
The Pope has already had respiratory problems this year. On March 29, he was taken to Gemelli, where doctors diagnosed “infectious bronchitis.” He underwent antibiotic treatment and left the hospital on April 1. He later explained that it was acute pneumonia. “If we had waited a few more hours, it would have been more serious,” he told Mexican television.
When he was 21 years old, the future pope developed an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the lung, which led to surgery to remove three pulmonary cysts and a small part of his upper right lung.
Follow reports on the Pope’s health here.
[Article updated after initial publication]