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Pope Francis reveals lung inflammation, will still travel to Dubai

The pontiff will still travel to Dubai later this week.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday revealed that he has a lung inflammation, a day after the Vatican said he checked into a hospital because of a mild flu.

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The 86-year-old pontiff said he would still travel to Dubai later this week to address attendees at the COP28 conference for climate change, according to The Associated Press.

Francis, who was elected pope on March 13, 2013, did not make his weekly Sunday appearance at a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, according to the news organization.

He gave the traditional noon blessing in a televised appearance from the chapel of 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.

The pope introduced a priest, Father Paolo Braida, who read the pope’s Sunday message, Reuters reported.

Francis went to a Rome hospital on Saturday and had a scan that the Vatican said had ruled out lung complications after the flu forced him to cancel his schedule, according to the news outlet.

The Vatican gave no explanation for its statement on Saturday and what the pope said on Sunday.

Francis was hospitalized for five days at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital in late March 2023 with a lung infection. He had part of one lung removed when he was younger.

The pontiff had surgery for intestinal blockage in June 2023. That came two years after Francis had 13 inches of his colon removed because of a narrowing of his large intestine.

The pope was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on Dec. 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, the son of Italian immigrants, according to his official Vatican biography.

He ascended to the papacy after the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February 2013.