Pope Francis cancels meetings due to fever

Vatican Media/Reuters

The pope was briefly hospitalized in March.


Pope Francis canceled all of his scheduled meetings on Friday morning due to a fever, the Vatican said, again raising concerns about the health of the 86-year-old pontiff.

The Vatican press office did not provide further details on the pope’s illness.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Francis was “tired” after a “very intense day” on Thursday, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

“The pope was tired. Yesterday he had a very intense day and saw a lot of people. There was the meeting with Scholas Occurrentes and he wanted to greet each person individually. At some point, you become less resilient,” Parolin said.

Francis was seen in fine form Thursday afternoon at an event broadcast live from the Vatican for Scholas Occurrentes, an international education network he founded, according to CNN’s team on the ground.

He was hospitalized in March with bronchitis but responded well to antibiotics.

Leaving the hospital on this occasion, the pope joked that he was “still alive”.

The pontiff – who as a youth suffered from severe pneumonia and had part of a lung removed – has had recent medical problems.

He was often seen with a cane and sometimes uses a wheelchair due to pain in his right knee.

Last year he canceled a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan after doctors said he might also have to miss a later trip to Canada unless he agrees to undergo 20 days of additional therapy and rest for his knee. He finally traveled to the DRC and South Sudan in February.

Francis also suffers from diverticular disease, a common condition that can cause inflammation or infection in the colon. In 2021, he underwent surgery to remove part of his colon.

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