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Pope says a cold will force him to skip spiritual retreat


Pope Francis announced on Sunday that a cold he is suffering from will force him to skip a week-long Lenten spiritual retreat with senior Vatican officials that had been due to start later in the day.

The pope made the surprise announcement to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square during his first public appearance since last Wednesday, when he was seen coughing and sneezing.

“Unfortunately a cold will force me not take part this year (in the retreat). I will follow the meditations from here,” he said. It is the first time that Francis has missed the annual retreat south of Rome since his election in March, 2013.

The Vatican had previously said only that he was suffering from a “slight indisposition”.


1st March 2020

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