Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Vatican denies reports of pope's ill health

If there was sickness 'we would be open about that' says spokesman

Vatican denies reports of pope's ill health

Picture: AFP Photo/Andreas Solaro

Daniel Burke for CNN Belief Blog
Vatican City

June 20, 2014

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

A Vatican spokesman denied reports on Wednesday that Pope Francis is ill, saying that the curtailment of his public summer schedule is common for popes.

"There is no sickness whatsoever," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office. "If there was, we would be open about that and asking people to pray for him."

Francis made his usual public appearance in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday morning and is planning a trip to South Korea from August 13 to 18.

But the Pope will curtail public appearances in St. Peter's Square during July, as he did last year, and will scale back his daily celebration of Masses at Casa Santa Marta for the summer.

It is customary for popes to vacation during the summers months. Francis, 77, will continue working, Rosica said, while limiting public appearances.

Earlier this month, Francis rested for two days because of "minor indisposition" and tiredness, the Vatican said. Church officials announced the Pope's curtailed summer schedule on Monday, leading some to speculate that he is ill.

The Pope walks with a limp and had part of a lung removed while he was 21 but is otherwise in good health, said Rosica.

Still, some church officials have urged the aging pontiff to cut back on his grueling schedule.

“We have been asking him to have holidays this year,” Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of the Pope's closest advisers, said during a visit to Washington this month. “Because last year he didn’t and sometimes he’s very tired.”

Francis has also worried Catholic officials by refusing to use the bulletproof Popemobile.

"It's true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose," he told Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia.

"I know that something could happen to me, but it's in the hands of God."

Full Story: Vatican denies reports that Pope Francis is ill

Source: CNN Belief Blog

UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.