Pope Francis cancels Saturday audiences due to a mild flu, Vatican says

Pope Francis cancels Saturday audiences due to a mild flu, Vatican says

Pope Francis during his Wednesday general audience on Feb. 14, 2024, in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. VATICAN MEDIA

By Courtney Mares

Catholic News Agency

February 25, 2024

VATICAN— Pope Francis canceled his public appearances on Saturday due to a mild flu, the Vatican has said.

The Holy See Press Office released a short statement announcing the cancellation on Saturday morning without further details.

“Due to a mild flu-like condition, as a precautionary measure, the pope has canceled the audiences scheduled for today,” the Feb. 24 statement said.

The cancellation comes after Pope Francis concluded a five-day Lenten retreat at his Vatican residence in which all of his regular activities were suspended from the afternoon of Feb. 18 to Feb. 23.

The 87-year-old pope has slowed down his schedule with less international travel since he underwent abdominal surgery last June to repair an incisional hernia. Francis canceled a trip to Dubai in December after his doctors advised him not to travel because of a bronchial infection.

When the Vatican said that Pope Francis had a “mild flu” in November, the pope underwent precautionary testing at a Roman hospital.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope’s Angelus address on Sunday is still on the schedule and that the Vatican does not plan to release any further health updates on Saturday.

The pope had been scheduled to meet with deacons from the Diocese of Rome on Saturday morning in addition to his regularly scheduled meetings at the Vatican.

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