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Despite speculation, Vatican spokesman says Pope Francis is not ill

The curtailment of Pope Francis' schedule has led to speculation regarding his health.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   June 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM   |   Comments

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VATICAN CITY, June 18 (UPI) -- Pope Francis is not ill, despite a reduction in the number of planned appearances and the recent cancellation of appointments, a Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.

The pope's schedule includes no appearances in July in St. Peter's Square. Earlier in June, he rested for two days due to tiredness and what the Vatican called "minor indisposition." His reduced schedule was announced Monday, leading to speculation he is ill.

"There is no sickness whatsoever. If there was, we would be open about that and asking people to pray for him," said Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican press office consultant.

The pope, 77, will visit South Korea in August.

Rosica added it is common for popes to vacation -- or at least limit public appearances -- in summer months. Some church officials, though, have urged him to reduce his schedule.

"We have been asking him to have holidays this year," Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a papal adviser, said earlier in June. "Because last year he didn't, and sometimes he's very tired."

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