Pope Francis has canceled his trip to Dubai to participate in the COP28, scheduled for this weekend, due to a mild flu that he has been carrying for a few days and which has already forced him to carry out the Angelus this Sunday from his residence in the Casa Santa Marta, in a prayer that was broadcast on screens from San Pedro Square. At almost 87 years old, doctors have advised him against continuing this trip of many hours on the plane and thirty meetings if he is not feeling completely well.
This was reported by the spokesman for the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, saying that, although the Pontiff's general clinical condition due to flu and inflammation of the respiratory tract has improved, doctors have asked him to stay in the Vatican. “Pope Francis has accepted the doctors' request with great regret and the trip has therefore been cancelled,” Bruni said in a statement.
On Saturday, the Vatican explained that Francis was recovering at home from a mild flu for which he had to cancel his schedule and go to the Gemelli hospital in Rome to undergo a CT scan that ruled out pulmonary complications. Despite this flu situation, he is maintaining part of his agenda, always in the Vatican. On Monday he received the president of Paraguay, this Tuesday he met with all the Spanish bishops and tomorrow he plans to hold the traditional Wednesday public audience. The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Joan Josep Omella, said that they had seen the president very well. Pontiff, because during the two hours he had not "coughed even once."
The Pope, who for years has carried out an energetic message to raise awareness about the climate crisis, was planning to give a speech at COP28 on Saturday, a very busy trip in which he was also going to hold thirty bilateral meetings. at Expo City in the Emirates, twenty of them with heads of State and Government present at the meeting. On Sunday he was to attend the inauguration of the Pavilion of Religions at Expo City, which will be attended by the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmad Al- Tayyeb, with whom he signed a document on brotherhood among peoples in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
It is not the first time that Francisco has been forced to cancel a trip for health reasons. In 2022 he had to postpone his apostolic visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan due to problems with his right knee.