The Pope, like last week, did not appear at noon on Sunday at the window of the Apostolic Palace due to a respiratory illness, but addressed the faithful from the Vatican’s House of Saint Martha, where he lives. He also did not read the reflections and the final text, explaining that his condition was improving, but he still had problems with his voice. In the text read by the lector, he greeted the Poles present in Rome, participating in the commemoration of the blessed Ulma family.
During the broadcast from the House of Saint Martha, Francis said: – Dear brothers and sisters, good morning, I won’t be able to read everything today. My health is improving, but my voice doesn’t allow it yet.
The text of the reflections as well as the final appeals and greetings were read by Father Paolo Braida from the Vatican Secretariat of State.
Francis expressed regret at the breaking of the truce between Israel and Hamas. “The situation in Israel and Palestine is difficult. It is sad that the truce has been broken, which means death, destruction and poverty,” he admitted. “Many hostages have been released, but many are still in Gaza. Let us think of them, of their families who have seen light, hope to embrace their loved ones,” the pope noted.
He mentioned that “there is so much suffering in Gaza, there is a lack of basic goods.” “I want all parties involved to be able to conclude a new ceasefire agreement as soon as possible and find solutions other than weapons, trying to follow bold paths of peace,” he said.
Francis also assured that he was following closely the course of the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, which he could not attend due to illness. “I am close. I repeat my appeal for climate change to be answered with specific political changes,” he said.
“Let us leave the narrow paths of particularisms and nationalisms, patterns of the past, and adopt a common vision by committing all together now, without any delay, to the necessary global ecological conversion,” he appealed.
The Pope greeted the Poles present in Rome
Francis referred to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrated on Sunday. He expressed his belief that accepting and including them “helps the whole of society become more human.” “In families, parishes, schools, at work and at school, let us learn to appreciate each person with their qualities and abilities and let us not exclude anyone,” he pointed out.
Addressing greetings to those present in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope noted: “I especially greet Poles who take part in the events organized in Rome in honor of the martyrdom of the Ulma familyrecently beatified.
A delegation from the Podkarpackie Voivodeship is staying in the Eternal City.
In his reflections on the first Sunday of Advent, the Pope emphasized: “This is a beautiful program for Advent: to encounter Jesus who comes in every brother and sister who needs us and to share with them what we can; listening, time, concrete help.”
The Pope’s health condition
The first news about his illness appeared on Saturday, when a “light flu” condition was reported. A few hours later, Franciszek underwent a computed tomography scan at the hospital, as he explained Vatican – exclude pulmonary complications.
The Vatican later reported that the pope did not have pneumonia, but inflammation in the lungs.
On Wednesday morning, a day after canceling his trip to Dubai, Francis met with the faithful at a general audience despite his illness. He explained that he still didn’t feel well and had problems with his voice. The text of his catechesis and greetings was read by a priest from the Secretariat of State. Finally, the Pope spoke and appealed for the extension of the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of all hostages and for peace, also in Ukraine.
On Thursday, the pope confirmed that he was undergoing “very acute and infectious bronchitis“.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/CLAUDIO PERI