Pope Francis confirms he has bronchitis

Pope Francis, 87, said during a brief speech at an event in the Vatican on Saturday that he had bronchitis and was unable to read because of a cough.

According to Agence France-Presse, the Argentine pope said at the opening of the Holy See’s Judicial Year: “I thank you all. I have prepared a speech, but I cannot read it because of bronchitis.”

Last Wednesday Francesco suffered from a mild flu and had to go to a hospital in Rome to undergo a control test. He held a public audience at the Vatican on Saturday morning but did not read out any of his own words.

The pope canceled scheduled appointments last Saturday and Monday, although he led Angelus prayers on Sunday.

On Saturday, he plans to meet with German head of government Olaf Scholz.

Francisco, who uses a wheelchair, has developed a series of health problems in recent years, particularly with his knees, hips and colon.

He also underwent abdominal surgery in June, and in December he had to cancel a trip to Dubai to attend COP28, the major annual climate event organized by the United Nations, due to bronchitis.

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