Cardinal Parolin: Pope's Dubai visit cancelled to ensure full recovery
Speaking on the sidelines of an event at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin confirms that Pope Francis is getting better and that his scheduled journey to Dubai for COP28 was cancelled to ensure his full recovery.
"The condition of the Holy Father is stable; he does not have a fever, but the lung inflammation associated with respiratory difficulties persists. Antibiotic therapy continues."
The Holy See Press Office released that brief update on Pope Francis' health on Wednesday evening.
Earlier in the day, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin confirmed that the Pope is recovering well from the flu and lung inflammation, which made him decide on Tuesday to cancel his journey to Dubai.
“The Pope is on the mend; he just didn't want to expose himself to risks, following the advice of his doctors," said the Cardinal.
The Pope was scheduled to leave for Dubai on Friday, 1 December, to take part in the COP28 on climate change.
“I believe he made this choice to avoid a relapse so he can recover as soon as possible," Cardinal Parolin told journalists on the sidelines of an event at the Italian Chamber of Deputies where he held a lecture on the legacy of the late Italian Bishop and missionary Luigi Secco.
Cardinal Parolin confirmed that the Holy See is studying the “modalities” by which the Pope will take part in the discussions in Dubai, as announced on Tuesday evening by the Director of the Holy See Press Office.
“We are working on them. I have participated in all the COPs, starting in Paris and the following ones, so I think I will go this time too, but obviously I will shorten my visit, he said.
The Secretary of State explained that the Vatican delegation will stay in Dubai through the two weeks of discussions. “I would only participate in the first part," he said.
Interreligious dialogue and bilateral meetings
Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, will also be present in Dubai.
Cardinal Parolin explained that he will take care of the interreligious dialogue part, i.e., the signing of a document scheduled for December on the occasion of the inauguration of the Faith Pavillon in the Expo City area.
The Secretary of State also expressed regret that the Pope won’t be able to join the bilateral meetings scheduled for Saturday, 2 December, with several heads of State and Government present at the event.
“Many political leaders had asked to see the Pope,” he said. "Unfortunately, this won’t be possible.” He noted, however, that “it is already a good sign that there have been so many people who have asked to see the Pope" and that he will try to make up for this missed opportunity.