International News

Vatican Says Pope Francis Improving, Was Back at Work After Breakfast

A statue of St. John Paul II is seen in the courtyard of Rome’s Gemelli Hospital March 30, 2023, where Pope Francis was admitted March 29 due to concerns over breathing difficulties. He was diagnosed with a “respiratory infection,” according to the Vatican. A March 30 update from the Vatican said the pope was “steadily improving” and continuing his planned course of treatment. (Photo: OSV News)

By Elise Ann Allen

ROME (Crux) — The Vatican announced Thursday, March 30, that Pope Francis, after being admitted to the hospital the previous day for a respiratory infection, was showing signs of improvement and had spent the morning working and in prayer.

In a statement, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that “His Holiness Pope Francis rested well during the night. His clinical status is progressively improving, and the planned treatments continue.”

“This morning after breakfast, he read some papers and went back to work. Before lunch he went to the small chapel of the private apartment, where he gathered in prayer and received the Eucharist,” Bruni said.

Pope Francis went into Rome’s Gemelli Hospital Wednesday afternoon for what were originally described as “previously planned tests.” Prior, he had presided over his public general audience Wednesday morning as usual.

Late Wednesday night, the Vatican said Pope Francis would be hospitalized for “a few days” due to a respiratory infection unassociated with COVID-19, and that he had decided to go to the Gemelli Hospital for tests after suffering from some respiratory difficulties over the past few days.

It is unclear whether Pope Francis will be able to preside over next week’s Holy Week liturgies as planned, however. His appointments for the next two days have all been canceled.

His last stay at the Gemelli Hospital was in July 2021 for an invasive colon surgery, where he spent 11 days before returning to the Vatican.