The Vatican said that Pope Francis canceled a meeting with the deacons of Rome because he had a mild flu

Pope Francis canceled a meeting as a precaution after coming down with a mild flu, the Vatican said

VATICAN CITY β€” Pope Francis canceled a meeting scheduled for Saturday as a precaution after coming down with a mild flu, the Vatican press office said in a brief statement, without adding further details.

Francis was scheduled to meet the deacons of Rome in the morning.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said later Saturday that the pope's weekly evangelization address on Sunday had not yet been confirmed, and that no further health updates were expected for the day.

The 87-year-old Pope has suffered from several health problems in recent years. In late November, he had to cancel some of his activities and an international trip due to breathing problems. Examination at that time ruled out lung complications. Francis had part of his lung removed when he was young and still lives in his native Argentina.

In April, the pope spent three days in Rome's Gemelli Hospital treating what the Vatican described as bronchitis. He was discharged from the hospital after receiving intravenous antibiotics.

Francis also spent 10 days in the same hospital in July 2021 after having intestinal surgery for a narrowing of the intestine. He was admitted again in June 2023 for surgery to repair an abdominal hernia and remove scarring from previous surgeries.

When asked about his health in a recent television interview, Francis quipped with what has become his usual catchphrase: β€œHe's still alive, you know.”

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Over the past two years, Francis has indicated several times that he would be prepared to step down, like his predecessor Benedict XVI, if his health deteriorated to the point where it became an obstacle to his leadership of the Catholic Church. However, he said in a television interview last month that he felt well and denied any immediate plans to resign.

Speculation increased about Francis' health and the future of his papacy after Benedict's death in late 2022. Benedict's resignation in 2013 marked a turning point for the church, as he became the first pope to step down in six centuries.

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