WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The Vatican reported that the 83-year-old Holy Father had a slight illness and would not be present on a planned Mass in Rome.
- The Pope was previously seen coughing and blowing his nose during Ash Wednesday Mass celebrations in St. Peter’s Square.
- The Pope expressed support to those who are affected by the virus, and in Italy, 650 people are currently tested positive.
Vatican officials said on Thursday that Pope Francis had a slight illness, and it made him cancel a scheduled Mass with Rome clergy.
This happened only a day after the head of the Catholic Church voiced his solidarity with coronavirus victims worldwide, including Italy, which currently has more than 600 positive cases.
The ailment has made the 83-year-old Pope skip the penitentiary Mass at the start of Lent. Francis is Rome’s Bishop but deputies the daily works of the archdiocese to a priest representative.
Pope Francis will attend to the rest of his schedules on Thursday, but See of Rome officials said, that he favored staying near Vatican hotel, Santa Marta, where he resides.
The Vatican did not elaborate further on the details of the Pope’s illness, but it was reported that during the mass in St. Peter’s square on Ash Wednesday, he was spotted blowing his nose and clearing his throat.
During the Papal Audience, the Pope spoke of his support to the Coronavirus victims. Vatican News reported that the Pope’s message goes out to both those who are ill because of the virus, as well as the health workers taking care of them.
While Pope Francis did not categorically come across those affected with the Coronavirus, he shook hands with the Churchgoers seated in the front row through the General Audience. During his Popemobile roam through St. Peter’s Square, the Pope also kissed a baby and welcomed some visiting bishops.
However, it was seen that the clergy members abstained from kissing his ring or embracing Pope Francis at that time, as they typically do.
Meanwhile, the latest data from the Italian Ministry of Health confirmed 17 deaths and 650 cases of COVID-19. It was also reported that more than 400 of the positive with the virus could be traced to the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, where currently, the government has some townships placed under confinement.
In Rome, there are three cases recorded, but according to reports, the persons who were previously infected have recovered from COVID-19.
Source: New York Post