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Pope in stable health, but lung inflammation persists, Vatican says

Pope Francis’ lung inflammation and associated breathing difficulties persist, but he is in stable condition and has no fever, the Vatican said on Wednesday, adding that he continued to receive antibiotics.

At the end of last week, the pope underwent a CT scan in a Rome hospital after a bout of flu forced him to cancel his activities. The test ruled out pneumonia but detected inflammation.

A part of one of the pope’s lungs was removed when Francis was a young man in his native Argentina.

“Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome,” the pope said at his weekly audience on Wednesday, held inside the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

The 86-year-old pontiff appeared out of breath and limited his speech at the event, held a day after he canceled a trip to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on doctor’s orders.

He said an aide would read his main text in his place, “since I’m still not well with this flu and (my) voice isn’t beautiful.”

He was welcomed into the packed hall by applause and chants of “Viva il papa” (Long live the Pope).

Francis spoke again at the end of his audience, to call for the continuation of a truce in the Gaza Strip, the release of all hostages and access for humanitarian aid to the territory.

“We call for peace,” he said, also mentioning Ukraine.

The pope, who receives local reports from the Catholic parish in Gaza, expressed concern about the lack of water, bread and the suffering of ordinary people.

“War is always a defeat, everyone loses (except) one group that profits a lot: the weapons manufacturers who make good money from the deaths of others,” he said.

Francisco, who has difficulty walking due to a knee condition and sometimes uses a wheelchair, arrived at Wednesday’s hearing walking, aided by a cane.

His audience also enjoyed a brief show by circus artists, including clowns, acrobats and jugglers, who performed on the podium alongside Francisco.

He thanked her for offering a “moment of joy.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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