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Pope Francis, 86, admitted to hospital in Rome with new health problem after recent illness

Pope Francis was admitted to hospital in Rome today – just months after suffering a chest infection.

The 86-year-old was taken to Gemelli Hospital in the Italian capital for a check-up.

According to the ANSA news agency, the pope arrived at the hospital’s geriatric unit at 10:40 a.m. local time.

There was no immediate word from the Vatican.

Francis spent five days in hospital in March with a lung infection after complaining of breathing difficulties.

It happened a few days before Easter – traditionally one of the busiest times for the pope.

He had greeted the faithful in the popemobile during his weekly audience hours before he was admitted to hospital.

Last month, Francis skipped his hearings due to a fever.

Francis, who this year celebrated 10 years as head of the Catholic Church, has suffered from several illnesses in recent years.

In July 2021, part of his colon was removed in an operation to relieve a painful bowel condition called diverticulitis.

The pontiff also suffers from chronic knee pain and uses a wheelchair.

He had to cancel activities several times last year due to knee pain and recognized that he needed to slow down.

Earlier this year, Francis bid farewell to his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died at the age of 95.

He was seen arriving in a wheelchair and held on to a stick as he paid homage to ‘the wisdom, tenderness and devotion he bestowed upon us over the years’.

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