Pope Francis’s scheduled audiences for Saturday morning were canceled due to a “mild flu,” as announced by the Vatican in a brief statement. The Holy See stated, “The audiences of the Holy Father scheduled for this morning are canceled due to a mild flu.”
This announcement comes a week before his trip to Dubai, where the 86-year-old Argentine pontiff plans to participate in the UN’s major annual climate conference, COP28. Pope Francis has championed environmental defense as one of the central causes of his papacy, with an anticipated speech at COP28 in Dubai on December 2.
Later in the day, the Vatican issued a second statement indicating that the pope had undergone a “computed tomography (…) to rule out the risk of lung complications.”
“The examination yielded a negative result, reassuring Pope Francis’s doctors, and he returned to his residence in the Vatican,” the statement added.
Pope Francis’s health has deteriorated in recent months, necessitating the use of a wheelchair. Speculation about a potential resignation, similar to that of his predecessor Benedict XVI, continues. In 2021, the Catholic Church leader underwent colon surgery and was hospitalized twice this year, one of which involved an abdominal operation.