A health update has been released by the Vatican after Pope Francis was taken to the hospital for check-ups, according to The Daily Caller. Reports circulating suggested that the pope had suffered a heart attack and had difficulty breathing and he was soon diagnosed with a respiratory infection, according to Vatican News.
The pope was reportedly transported to the hospital in an ambulance. During his hospital visit, he underwent an MRI. Previous engagements were canceled to make room for more tests to be done, but the pope reportedly maintained his routine Wednesday audience and greeted visitors to Rome.
Matteo Bruni stated that his health is “progressively improving and he is continuing with his planned treatment.” The news follows concerns that the pope is becoming old and looking for his successor. Last summer, two trips to Africa were canceled because of health concerns, according to Breitbart.
The 85-year-old religious figure has reportedly suffered a series of ailments including sciatica and knee pain that caused him to start using a wheelchair. But the Vatican was quick to respond to any reports that suggested the pope might be retiring, with Cardinal Kevin Farrell saying that Francis’ resignation is “wishful thinking” for his enemies.
The health concern comes after Pope Francis released a “motu proprio,” a document written by the pope at his behest. It reportedly updated laws focused on abuse in the Catholic Church, according to The Daily Wire. The document follows some controversy that has engulfed the church after a 2018 Grand Jury report looked at the church’s abuse of children and the efforts to cover it up by senior officials and the Vatican.
Critics of the pope’s first set of “experimental” guidelines said that they did not go far enough in punishing those clerics who are accused of abuse. Pope Francis is now prioritizing civil law over canon law.