26 May 2023

Fever has caused Pope Francis to miss meetings, says Vatican

26 May 2023

Pope Francis missed meetings on Friday because he was suffering from a fever, the Vatican said.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Francis was tired and attributed the fever to the fact that Francis had greeted, one by one, a particularly large crowd of his school foundation on Thursday afternoon.

“He wanted to greet all of them and probably at a certain point lost his resistance,” Cardinal Parolin was quoted as saying by the LaPresse news agency.

The last time Francis suffered a serious fever, in March, the 86-year-old pontiff was rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with acute bronchitis. He received intravenous antibiotics and was released three days later.

A Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had confirmed Francis did not receive anyone in audience on Friday “because of a feverish state”.

There were no formal audiences scheduled on Friday, but Francis keeps a separate, private and unofficial agenda of meetings with people he receives at his residence.

Francis presided over a meeting of the Italian bishops’ conference this week, and participated in the meeting on Thursday with his school foundation Scholas Occurentes, as well as meeting with several other prelates and visiting dignitaries.

He is due to preside over Pentecost Mass on Sunday in St Peter’s Basilica, and in a sign that he was expected to recover quickly, the Vatican on Friday announced a new official audience with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, scheduled for Monday.

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