The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is being hospitalized in Rome, Italy.

“In recent days Pope Francis complained of some respiratory difficulties and this afternoon he went to Policlinico A. Gemelli for some medical checks,” Matteo Bruni, the spokesperson for the Vatican disclosed in a statement, referring to the Rome hospital where popes are normally treated. “The outcome of these [tests] showed a respiratory infection (excluding Covid-19 infection) that will require a few days of appropriate hospital medical therapy.”

“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” he added.

The Pope was taken to the hospital for several tests earlier after his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

“The Holy Father has been at Gemelli since this afternoon for some previously scheduled tests,” Bruni had said.

Shortly after, he said that Francis’ schedule for Thursday had been cleared “to make space for the continuation of tests should that be necessary.”

In a statement, released by the Presidency of the Italian Episcopal Conference, on behalf of the Italian bishops, they revealed Bishops in churches across Italy are praying for the Holy Father to recover speedily.

“In wishing the Holy Father a speedy recovery, the Presidency entrusts to the Lord the doctors and medical staff who, with professionalism and dedication, care for him and all patients,” they said.

We wish Pope Francis a speedy recovery