Scripps News LifeFaith and Religion


Pope Francis cancels trip to COP28 climate summit on doctors' orders

The Vatican said the 86-year-old pope is still dealing with some lung inflammation and respiratory issues after contracting the flu.
Posted at 8:39 AM, Nov 29, 2023

Pope Francis has canceled an upcoming overseas trip due to ongoing health concerns.

The 86-year-old was scheduled to attend the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai. But doctors advised him to call off the trip as he recovers from lung inflammation and the flu.

The Vatican issued the following statement Tuesday evening:

"Even though the Holy Father's general health situation has improved in relation to the flu and respiratory tract inflammation he has been suffering from, his doctors have asked the pope not to undertake his scheduled visit to Dubai in the coming days, on the occasion of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."

What is the future of the papacy?
Pope Francis arrives for an audience with members of Roman Universities and Pontifical Institutions

What is the future of the papacy?

Francis didn't replace a pope who had died. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, a conservative, who was the first pontiff to retire in 600 years.


Vatican press office director Matteo Bruni said the pope still wished to be apart of the discussions in Dubai, but did not specify the plan moving forward. The three-day trip was scheduled to begin Friday. 

The Vatican said the lung inflammation was causing some respiratory issues for Francis, whose 87th birthday is next month, but that he is in stable condition. Francis has been receiving antibiotics over the past several days and has scaled back some appointments as he recovers.