Pope Francis again limits reading at weekly audience

Pope, still suffering a cold, again limits reading at weekly audience

/ 05:43 PM March 06, 2024

Pope Francis again limits reading at weekly audience

Pope Francis greets people as he arrives for the weekly general audience, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, March 6, 2024. REUTERS

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday said he was still suffering from a cold as he again limited his speaking at a weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, instead letting an aide read his prepared text.

Francis told crowds who had gathered that the reason for this was “because I still have a cold and I cannot read well”.


The 87-year-old’s health has been an issue over the past two weeks, forcing him to cancel some engagements and avoid reading some speeches.


READ: Pope Francis skips readings at audience, says he still has a cold

The Vatican said on Feb. 24 he was suffering from a mild flu. Last week, Francis paid a brief visit to a hospital in Rome for a CT scan, and on Saturday, he said he had bronchitis.

The pope also delegated readings to an aide at last week’s general audience, which took place indoors, while Wednesday’s was held outdoors, in Rome’s relatively mild weather.

READ: Pope Francis asks aide to read ceremonial speech due to bronchitis

Francis, who has trouble walking, arrived in St Peter’s Square in his specially designed vehicle known as the popemobile, as is customary, and reached his seat walking with a cane, looking in relatively good spirits.

Health issues aside, the pontiff has remained busy, meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday and making a fresh appeal for an end to the conflict in Gaza on Sunday.

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TAGS: Pope Francis, Vatican

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