Pope ill, cancels visit

Pope Francis has skipped a planned meeting with Rome clergy because of illness. The Vatican said the pontiff was going back to work, but preferred to stick close to home.


World News

February 27, 2020 - 10:52 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is sick and skipped a planned Mass with Rome clergy across town today, officials said.

The Vatican said the 83-year-old pontiff had a “slight indisposition” and would proceed with the rest of his planned work for today. But Francis “preferred to stay near Santa Marta,” the Vatican hotel where he lives.

There was no word from the Vatican about the nature of his illness, but the pope was seen coughing and blowing his nose during the Ash Wednesday Mass. It comes amid an outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy that has sickened more than 400 people, almost all of them in the north. Rome had three cases, but all three were cured.

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