‘Mild flu-like’ symptoms force Pope Francis to cancel further engagements

Francis had to cancel some activities and one international trip due to his fragile health in the past few months (Gregorio Borgia/AP)
Pope Francis has had to cancel some activities as a result of illness. PICTURE: GREGORIO BORGIA/AP (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Pope Francis has cancelled engagements yet again as a result of “mild flu-like” symptoms, the Vatican has said.

The pontiff’s engagements had been suspended last week, including last Wednesday’s General Audience, and his activities had been due to resume on Saturday.

However, a Vatican spokesperson said on Saturday that the day’s morning engagements were cancelled “due to a mild, flu-like condition”, adding that the decision was made “as a precautionary measure”.

The following day, the pontiff delivered his weekly Angelus address at St Peter’s Square.

On Monday, the Holy See press office said : “Mild flu-like symptoms persist. There is no fever. As a precaution, however, Pope Francis’ audiences this morning are suspended.”

Pope Francis is due to make his next public appearance this Wednesday at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for the weekly General Audience.

The latest illness follows the 87-year-old Pope suffering from a “flu-like condition and inflammation of the respiratory tract” in November, which forced him to cancel a trip to Dubai for the United Nations climate change conference.

Last June he spent nine days in hospital following abdominal surgery to repair a hernia, while last March he spent three days in hospital for bronchitis treatment.

Part of one of his lungs was removed in 1957 when he was 21 years old, following a severe respiratory infection, understood to have been pneumonia.