Pope Francis has a “slight indisposition” and has canceled an event at Rome’s basilica but will perform the rest of his program at his residence, the Vatican announced today.
“Due to light sickness, he preferred to stay near Santa Marta,” the Vatican said, referring to Vatican hotel where the 83-year-old Pontiff lives.
“All his other meetings proceed regularly,” the Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said.
The Vatican has released a picture of the Pope and Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who met this morning with members of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, an international environmental organization. The meeting took place in a building a few steps from the hotel.
The Pope appears to have caught a cold and sounded a little hoarse in front of the faithful yesterday, Wednesday, while attending an afternoon service for the first Wednesday of Lent (Ash Wednesday) in a Roman basilica.
The Pope was due to go to Basilica of Saint John Lateran this morning for a planned Mass with Roman clergy.
Some Ash Wednesday Masses have been canceled in areas of northern Italy affected by the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 400 people have been infected and 14 have died in Italy, which is by far the most affected area in Europe.
Some in the church were wearing masks at St. Peter’s Square yesterday but only one was seen wearing a mask during the Pope’s Ash Wednesday service.