Pope Francis Cancels COP28 Appearance Due to Health Concerns
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Pope Francis, grappling with lingering health issues stemming from influenza, has regretfully canceled his attendance at the United Nations COP28 climate conference in Dubai this week, according to an announcement from the Vatican on Tuesday. Despite an improvement in the general clinical outlook, the Pope's doctors advised against the trip, citing concerns about respiratory inflammation.
Photo credit: Nacho Arteaga
The Holy See Press Office disclosed that, while the Pope's overall health has improved, the medical team recommended against his planned journey to Dubai for the 28th Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Pope Francis, with great regret, accepted the doctors' advice, resulting in the cancellation of his trip.
Despite this setback, the Vatican assured that the Pope is still eager to contribute to the conference in some capacity. The press release stated, "As the pope and the Holy See remain willing to be part of the discussions taking place in the coming days, the ways in which this can be implemented will be defined as soon as possible."
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that Pope Francis would maintain his tradition of participating in the Wednesday general audience on Nov. 29. This comes after Monday's confirmation that the Pope's condition was "clearly improving," with him being in "good and stable" health, and without a fever.
Last week, Pope Francis visited the Gemelli Isola Hospital in Rome while experiencing a "mild" flu. During the hospital visit, a CT scan was conducted to rule out pulmonary complications, with the results coming back negative. However, on Monday, the Vatican disclosed that the scan did reveal "lung inflammation causing some breathing difficulties."
Originally scheduled to deliver a speech at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai this weekend, Pope Francis would have marked a historic moment as the first pontiff to attend such an event. The conference, set to take place from Dec. 1â€"3 in the United Arab Emirates, will proceed without the physical presence of Pope Francis, who remains committed to contributing to the climate discussions in an alternative manner.