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Pope Francis cancels scheduled activities due to 'light flu'—Vatican

By Agence France-Presse Published Nov 26, 2023 9:13 am

Pope Francis cancelled his scheduled activities Saturday, Nov. 25 due to "light flu symptoms"—a week ahead of a key climate address he is due to make in Dubai.  

"The audiences of the Holy Father planned for this morning have been cancelled as a result of light flu symptoms," the Vatican said in a brief statement Saturday morning.

Later in the day, the Vatican released a second brief communique saying Francis had returned to his residence in the Vatican after a CT scan had ruled out "risks of pulmonary complications."

Pope Francis is scheduled to make a much-anticipated speech at the UN climate summit in Dubai next Saturday, Dec. 2, where he is expected to criticize the inaction of many governments and urge them to intensify efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.   

The Pope's health has declined in recent months, forcing him to use a wheelchair and feeding speculations about him stepping aside, as did his predecessor Benedict XVI.  

After a colon operation in 2021, the spiritual leader of 1.3 billion Catholics has been hospitalized twice in 2023, including for a stomach operation. (AFP)