Pope Francis with seminar participants Pope Francis with seminar participants  (Vatican Media)

Pope: ‘Poorly cared-for health succumbs to fragility’

Meeting with participants in a seminar on “Ethics in Health Management’, Pope Francis says he is recovering from infectious bronchitis, and reflects on the importance of caring for one’s health.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis held an audience on Thursday with participants in a seminar on “Ethics in Health Management”.

In off-the-cuff remarks, he took the opportunity to reflect on his own health.

“As you can see, I am alive,” he joked. “The doctor didn't let me go to Dubai. The reason is that it's very hot there, and going from the heat to air conditioning is not convenient in this bronchial situation.”

The Pope also thanked God that his illness was not pneumonia, calling it “a very acute, infectious bronchitis.”

“I no longer have a fever, but antibiotics and such things are still ongoing,” he said.

Strength and fragility

Pope Francis then turned to the topic of health in general and the importance of caring for it.

“Health is both strong and fragile,” he said. “‘What health this person has, how resilient, how strong,’ but it is also fragile. Poorly cared-for health succumbs to fragility.”

The Pope added that he sees the value of preventative medicine, because it “prevents events before they occur.”

He expressed his appreciation for the topic of the seminar, and said people should both seek medical solutions when they are ill and preserve their health when they are well.

“Not only seeking medical and pharmacological solutions but also caring for health, thinking about the good of health, and how to preserve that good,” he said. “Not just curing but preserving.”

Pope’s health situation

The Pope has been recovering from a pulmonary inflammation since Saturday when he underwent a CT scan to properly assess his medical condition amid flu symptoms.

He had been due to make an Apostolic Journey to Dubai to attend the COP28 climate summit on 1-3 December but cancelled the visit on Tuesday evening on the advice of his doctors.

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30 November 2023, 12:27