Is Pope Francis ill?

By Amanda Stewart,
The Vatican says not at all

Many are wondering about Pope Francis’ health after an announcement that he will be suspending his Wednesday public audiences as well as his daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta for the month of July.

Many people have bought tickets to be a member of the audiences in July, according to The Daily Beast. That makes it clear that the cancellation was not pre-planned.

A few Vatican insiders have noted that the pope has gained some weight and has been breathing more heavily than normal. A few of his close associates have even warned him to slow down. Some estimate that he has gained 20 pounds since taking office.

Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin said, “Some in the Holy See are beginning to openly discuss concerns about Francis’ condition and asking if the Holy Father is overtaxing himself.”

All of the concerns began last week when the pope cancelled engagements on Monday and Tuesday. Add that in with the cancellation of July’s engagements, and people are beginning to question whether he is okay.

Francis only has one functioning lung due to a condition he had when he was younger. “Close observers are noting that the Pope’s physical body may be failing to keep up with his youthful energy and vigor, especially considering he only has one fully functioning lung,” said Pentin.

Francis made his regular public appearance in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday morning, according to CNN. He also still plans to take a trip to South Korea mid-August.

Rev. Thomas Roscia, a consultant for the Vatican press office, says that there is no need for concern. “If there was we would be open about that and asking people to pray for him,” he said.

Roscia added that it is customary for the pope to take vacation during the summer months. Francis is continuing to work, but he is limiting appearances.

"It's true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose," said Francis. "I know that something could happen to me, but it's in the hands of God."

Image courtesy of INFphoto.com



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