Podcast: Amid coronavirus scare, Pope Francis catches a cold

Pope Francis uses a handkerchief during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 26, 2020. Pope Francis has a common cold and has no symptoms that could be attributed to another illness, the Vatican said March 3.(CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters) 

Pope Francis cancelled his public audiences beginning Thursday, February 27 due to what his spokesman called a “slight indisposition.” Amid media reports that Francis had been tested for coronavirus, the pope addressed a smaller-than-normal crowd in St. Peter’s Square and said he had a cold.

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On this week’s “Inside the Vatican” podcast, Rome correspondent Gerard O’Connell describes the fear surrounding coronavirus that has gripped the Eternal City. Then, Gerry and I unpack the pope’s most extensive comments to date on the ongoing reform of the Legionaries of Christ.

We also discuss a new task force that will bring together the Vatican’s top experts on sexual abuse prevention to help dioceses and religious orders that are not yet in compliance with Vatican guidelines catch up.

Finally, Gerry and I give a few quick updates on the opening of the Vatican’s secret archives on Pope Pius XII, which they covered previously on the show, as well as the death of Nicaraguan priest and poet Ernesto Cardenal.

Links from the show:

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