Pope is ill, cancels public events, sparking concern in virus-ravaged Italy

Pope is ill, cancels public events, sparking concern in virus-ravaged Italy

[Ed. – There’s no evidence the Pope has the COVID-19 coronavirus.  He has been conducting general audiences in St. Peter’s Square, and has reportedly shaken hands as he often does with pubic attendees in the front rows of audiences.  So the potential for exposure is there.  He held a general audience on Thursday, but so far it hasn’t been common for a COVID-19 sufferer to become symptomatic within 24 hours.  It’s February; it may just be a cold.]

Pope Francis has come down with a “slight indisposition,” forcing him to cancel a planned Mass in Rome, just a day after he expressed his solidarity with coronavirus sufferers around the world — and as the disease continues to spread across Italy.

The illness has forced the 82-year-old pontiff to nix a penitential Mass, marking the start of Lent, that he’d planned to celebrate at the St. John Lateran basilica across town with Roman clergy, the Vatican said. …

The Vatican has not specified the nature of the pope’s illness, but he was seen coughing and blowing his nose during Ash Wednesday Mass.

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