Pope Francis cancels official engagements for third day in a row in coronavirus-hit Italy 

Pope Francis cancels official engagements for third day in a row with apparent cold symptoms in coronavirus-hit Italy

The 83-year-old as never cancelled so many official audiences during his papacyFrancis last appeared in public on Wednesday, when he was seen to be coughingIt comes as coronavirus has now infected more than 800 people in Italy alone

Pope Francis has cancelled official engagements for the third day in a row as he battles an apparent cold.

The 83-year-old, who lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness as a young man, has never cancelled so many official audiences or events in his seven-year papacy.

He is continuing to work from his residence at the Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel and is receiving people in private, the Vatican press office said.

On Saturday, those private meetings were with the head of the Vatican’s bishops’ office, Francis’s ambassadors to Lebanon and France and a Ukrainian archbishop.

The 83-year-old, who lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness as a young man, has never cancelled so many official audiences or events in his seven-year papacy (he is pictured on February 26, where he was seen coughing)

Cancelled were his two planned official audiences – formal affairs in the Apostolic Palace where Francis would have delivered a speech and greeted a great number of people at the end.

Those were to include an audience with an international bioethics organisation and with members of the scandal-marred Legion of Christ religious order.



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