The Vatican reported on Thursday that Pope Francis was “progressively improving” after being hospitalized with a respiratory infection. Despite having part of one of his lungs removed as a young man, the 86-year-old Pope is said to be doing well in Rome’s Gemelli hospital. He had breakfast, read the newspapers, and continued working from his hospital room. The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis had gone to the chapel to pray and receive Holy Communion before lunch. Earlier this week, the Pope was admitted to hospital with breathing problems, but he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection, not COVID-19. While his audiences have been postponed until Friday, it remains unclear how his hospitalization will affect the Vatican’s Holy Week observances. This is the Pope’s first hospitalization since having part of his colon removed in 2021, and he has been using a wheelchair for over a year due to knee problems. The Pope has stated that he resisted surgery for his knee problems due to a negative reaction to general anesthesia during his 2021 surgery.

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