Pope Francis has been hospitalized after having difficulty breathing. Vatican Spokesman Matteo Bruni said that Pope Francis, who is 86 years old, was admitted to Gemelli Hospital for routine tests, which showed he had a respiratory infection.
Bruni noted it was not COVID-19. Pope Francis has never had COVID, despite being around members of the public and having pre-existing conditions. When he was a young man, he had part of his lung removed due to a respiratory infection.
"The tests showed a respiratory infection (COVID-19 infection excluded) that will require some days of medical therapy," Bruni said in a statement.
"Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer," Bruni added.
As a result of his diagnosis, the Pontiff canceled his audiences through Friday. It is unclear if he will be able to celebrate Holy Week, which begins this weekend with Palm Sunday. Holy Week is one of the busiest times of the year for the Pope, with numerous events and services, including Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday.