Pope Francis Not Concerned About Coronavirus, Said to Be ‘Slightly Unwell’

Tags: Currents Coronavirus, Crux, Faith, Health, Media, Pope Francis, Vatican

By Melissa Butz 

Amidst fears of the coronavirus spreading throughout Italy, Pope Francis is home sick for the second day in a row. He canceled all his meetings for the day, apart from morning Mass.

The 83-year old pontiff first showed signs he was ill on Ash Wednesday, when he was seen coughing while outside in the cold weather.

Feb. 28 he canceled some of his meetings after skipping a penance service with Rome priests Feb. 27. 

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has said Pope Francis is “slightly unwell.”

However, Thursday morning Pope Francis met with members of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and Friday morning he celebrated Mass as Casa Santa Marta.

From all indications, the Holy Father is suffering from a mild cold and is not concerned about having the coronavirus since he greeted pilgrims at both events and is still participating in private meetings from his home.

Pope Francis spoke about the virus at his General Audience Wednesday morning. It is spreading throughout Italy, but no one in Rome is infected.

“I want to express, once more, my closeness to the sick infected by the coronavirus, as well as to medical workers caring for them, civil authorities and everyone working to treat the sick and contain the spread,” Pope Francis said. 

Pope Francis didn’t seem too concerned about his health on Wednesday though, as he still toured St. Peter’s Square and even greeted pilgrims.

Most likely, the pontiff is laying low and taking care, especially since he only has one lung. The other was removed as a teenager, likely from an infection.

By resting now, he can be healthy and ready to depart on his week-long, spiritual Lenten retreat in the south of Rome on Sunday afternoon.

The Holy Father is under the care of his personal physician while resting at his home inside the Vatican, Casa Santa Marta.