Pope Francis to attend Cop28 in Dubai despite lung inflammation

26 November 2023, 13:04

Pope Francis gives blessing via TV
Pope to attend Cop28 despite illness. Picture: PA

The pontiff gave his weekly blessing via a giant television screen in St Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis on Sunday revealed that he has a lung inflammation but will go later this week to Dubai to address the climate change conference.

Francis skipped his weekly Sunday appearance at a window overlooking St Peter’s Square, a day after the Vatican said he was suffering from a mild flu.

Instead, Francis gave the traditional noon blessing in an appearance televised live from the chapel in the Vatican hotel where he lives.

“Brothers and sisters, happy Sunday. Today I cannot appear at the window because I have this problem of inflammation of the lungs,” Francis said.

Vatican Pope
A giant screen broadcasts Pope Francis talking to faithful during the noon prayer (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The pontiff, whose 87th birthday is next month, added that a priest, sitting beside him, would read out his day’s reflections for him.

In those comments, Francis said he was going to the United Arab Emirates for the Cop28 gathering on climate change and that he would deliver his speech, as scheduled, on Saturday to the participants.

He described the climate change problem as a serious problem, especially for young people.

On his right hand he had a bandage and what appeared to be a cannula. The Vatican did not immediately respond to a query from the AP about whether he was receiving intravenous treatment.

Not immediately explained was the discrepancy between the pope saying he has lung inflammation and the Vatican saying a day earlier that Francis had a CT scan at a Rome hospital for pulmonary complications and that the exam was negative.

Francis thanked all those who would be following his three-day trip to Dubai with prayers.

Francis earlier this year was hospitalised for three days for what he later said was pneumonia and what the Vatican described as a case of bronchitis necessitating treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

By Press Association

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