The Vatican said Pope Francis canceled a gathering and skipped speeches scheduled for Thursday because of a bad cold.
Francis, 86, met young Orthodox priests and monks and members of the Max Planck Society, the German research organisation, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
But because of a “bad cold”, Francis only printed copies of his remarks and did not read them aloud, the Vatican said in a note.
The Holy See said in its daily bulletin that he later canceled a planned audience with members of an Italian YMCA group.
On Wednesday, Francis coughed repeatedly during Ash Wednesday services, which he presided over at a Roman church, and opted not to participate in the traditional procession that inaugurates the church’s Lenten season.
At this time of year in 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic was starting to hit Italy, Francis also suffered a severe cold that forced him to cancel several days of official audiences and his participation in the Vatican’s annual spiritual retreat . The Vatican had already cleared the retreat for this year in favor of personal spiritual exercises.
Argentina’s pope had part of a lung removed as a young man due to a respiratory infection, and a portion of his colon was removed in 2021 due to intestinal inflammation.
He has been using a wheelchair and a cane since last year due to a sprained knee ligament and a small knee fracture, which has made it difficult to walk and stand.