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Fatigued Pope postpones a private audience; spokesman says no cause for concern

Catholic World News - December 04, 2013

Pope Francis postponed a private audience on Wednesday afternoon, December 4, pleading fatigue. But a spokesman said that the Pontiff’s condition was not cause for alarm.

The Pope was scheduled to meet with a group of pilgrims from Milan, led by Cardinal Angelo Scola, who were to issue him a formal invitation to visit that city in 2015. The meeting will be rescheduled later this month.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, assured Le Figaro that there was “absolutely nothing alarming” about the Pope’s physical condition. The Holy Father was simply tired, he said, after a busy day that had included a long public audience. The Pope regularly spends up to 2 hours greeting people at his weekly audiences, pausing to speak for a few moments to some of the dozens of people who are seated closest to him. The Pontiff has also been attending long working meetings with the Council of Cardinals.

Pope Francis postponed another appointment less than a month ago, on November 15, when he was suffering from the flu. But although he will turn 77 on December 17, aides are not concerned about his physical condition. “He is a rock,” Domenico Giani, the director of papal security, told Le Figaro. “But he felt tired after a long audience—which is natural, considering the number of people he spoke with personally.”

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