(Aboard the papal plane) Pope Francis, 86, revealed on Sunday that he had “acute pneumonia” that led to his hospitalization in late March, but said he wanted to continue traveling.
“I felt a strong pain at the end of the audience [of March 29], I did not lose consciousness,” said the Argentine pope during a press conference on board the plane bringing him back of his visit to Budapest.
“I had a high fever and […] the doctor immediately had me hospitalized,” he added, adding that he had “a sharp and strong pneumonia, in the lower part of the lung”.
“The body responded well to the treatment. Thank God I can tell you,” he added.
The pope spent three days in hospital in Rome before being released on April 1 after a course of antibiotics.
In his youth, at the age of 21, Jorge Bergoglio suffered from acute pleurisy and surgeons removed part of his right lung.
This last health incident was the subject of a confused communication which fueled rumors around the pope’s health, the Vatican initially announcing that it was a hospitalization for scheduled examinations, before to indicate that the pope was suffering from bronchitis.
Asked about his next trips, François confirmed his intention to go to Lisbon at the beginning of August for the World Youth Days (WYD) then to Marseilles in September, as well as to Mongolia.
“The schedule [of planned trips] keeps me moving,” he joked.
The health of Jorge Bergoglio, elected in 2013, seems increasingly fragile, in particular because of his knee pain which forces him to move around in a wheelchair.