Pope skips mass due to ‘mild ailment’

Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Saint Sabina in Rome, Italy, 26 February 2020. EPA-EFE/FABIO FRUSTACI

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Pope Francis cancelled a scheduled appearance at mass in Rome on Thursday because of “a mild ailment”, the Vatican said, the day after he appeared to be suffering a cold.

“Due to a mild ailment, he preferred to stay in the vicinity of Saint Martha’s,” the guest house at the Vatican where the 83-year old pontiff lives, chief press officer Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

The mass in question was at the Basilica of St John Lateran, one of Rome’s biggest and largest churches.

Bruni said the Argentine’s schedule remained otherwise unchanged.

There was no word from the Vatican about the nature of his illness, but the pope was seen coughing and blowing his nose during the Ash Wednesday Mass.

It comes amid an outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy that has sickened more than 400 people, almost all of them in the north. Rome had three cases, but all three were cured.

Read more via Crux Now

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