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KNA InternationalMarch 07, 2024
Pope Francis coughs while making brief remarks at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 6, 2024, after having an aide read his main text because of persisting cold symptoms. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

Vatican City (KNA) Pope Francis is continuing his work program despite the flu. On Thursday morning, he held seven audiences for individuals and groups, according to the Vatican press office. Among others, the 87-year-old received the President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatovic, and the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children. As Francis has problems speaking due to his illness, a member of staff read out the prepared greetings several times.

On 24 February, the Vatican announced that Francis had a “mild flu”. Initially, appointments were canceled, but the Pope has been receiving guests at the Vatican again for around a week. In addition, there are the general audiences and the Sunday lunchtime prayers in St Peter’s Square, which Francis attends despite being ill.

After the general audience on Wednesday, the head of the Church apparently had problems getting into his Popemobile. A video shows Francis being driven to the vehicle in a wheelchair, trying to climb the few steps and then taking the wheelchair again to leave St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican is not currently releasing any information on the Pope’s state of health. Meanwhile, another appointment is planned for Friday: Francis is due to lead a service in a parish in Rome and hear confessions from the faithful there. Since suffering a lung infection last November, the pope, who has been in office for almost eleven years, has had recurring respiratory illnesses.

[Read next: Pope Francis is turning 87. Is it time for him to slow down?]

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