The Vatican has on Wednesday announced that Pope Francis, 86, is in the hospital in Rome.
The Pope visited the hospital for scheduled health checks, before later cancelling his Thursday appointments.
“The Holy Father has been at Gemelli (Hospital) since this afternoon for some previously scheduled checks,” wrote Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in a one-sentence statement.
The pontiff, who this month marked 10 years as head of the Catholic Church, had earlier appeared in good spirits at his weekly audience at the Vatican, smiling as he greeted the faithful from his “popemobile”.
However, the pope grimaced while he was helped getting into the vehicle.
Italian media reported he was taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering from respiratory and cardiac problems.
His appointments for Thursday morning were cancelled, a Vatican source told AFP, adding that there was a possibility Francis could stay in hospital overnight.
News360 info reports that the Argentine pontiff suffers from chronic knee pain that has forced him to rely on a wheelchair in recent months.
The Gemelli was the same hospital where he underwent an operation on his colon in July 2021 after suffering from a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine.
He remained in hospital for 10 days. A year later he admitted he was still feeling the effects of six hours spent under anaesthetic during the surgery.
In an interview in January, Francis said the diverticulitis had returned.