Vatican Tries to Tamp Down Questions on Pope’s Health

ROME—The Vatican on Tuesday sought to conclusion speculation that Pope Francis could have contracted the coronavirus, following virtually a 7 days of concern about the pope’s health amid the epidemic’s unfold in Italy.

“The Holy Father’s chilly diagnosed in latest times is managing its study course, devoid of signs and symptoms attributable to other pathologies,” reported the Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, in a statement Tuesday night.

Mr. Bruni was responding to an Italian media report that the pope experienced been tested past 7 days for the coronavirus, with a negative result. The spokesman didn’t say whether or not in reality the pope experienced been tested for the virus.

His statement recalled the media speculation and incomplete disclosures by the Vatican that characterised protection of Pope John Paul II’s health for various a long time previous his death in 2005.

Pope Francis was visibly unwell on Wednesday past 7 days, when he spoke with a hoarse voice and blew his nose at Ash Wednesday Mass. For the following three times, he noticed a restricted get the job done program, canceling speeches to substantial groups but continuing to maintain non-public meetings in his residence, on account of what the Vatican referred to as a “slight indisposition.” It was his longest stretch off get the job done for health reasons considering the fact that his election virtually seven a long time ago.

On Saturday, the pope was photographed meeting Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with neither person wearing a protecting mask.

On Sunday, the pope appeared at a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square for the common midday Angelus prayer. He coughed 2 times in ten minutes and seemed marginally worn out but warn, improvising remarks about the devil and the plight of war refugees. He announced that he experienced a chilly and would be skipping a weeklong retreat for Vatican officers scheduled to start out that night.

“I will be following the meditations from listed here,” he reported.

Mr. Bruni, the spokesman, reported afterward that “there is no evidence to diagnose the pope with just about anything other than the chilly he pointed out this early morning.”

The pope experienced component of a lung removed following a battle with a respiratory sickness as a young person.

The pope’s program for this 7 days experienced been cleared lengthy ago due to the fact of the prepared retreat, so he hasn’t experienced to cancel any other appointments in the course of his recovery. On Tuesday night, Mr. Bruni reported the pope has continued to rejoice Mass every early morning in his residence.

Create to Francis X. Rocca at [email protected]

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