June 18th, 2014
12:37 PM ET

Vatican denies reports that Pope Francis is ill

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

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(CNN) A Vatican spokesman denied reports on Wednesday that Pope Francis is ill, saying that the curtailment of his public summer schedule is common for popes.

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

Francis made his usual public appearance in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday morning and is planning a trip to South Korea from August 13 to 18.

But the Pope will curtail public appearances in St. Peter's Square during July, as he did last year, and will scale back his daily celebration of Masses at Casa Santa Marta for the summer.

It is customary for popes to vacation during the summers months. Francis, 77, will continue working, Rosica said, while limiting public appearances.

Earlier this month, Francis rested for two days because of "minor indisposition" and tiredness, the Vatican said. Church officials announced the Pope's curtailed summer schedule on Monday, leading some to speculate that he is ill.

The Pope walks with a limp and had part of a lung removed while he was 21 but is otherwise in good health, said Rosica.

Still, some church officials have urged the aging pontiff to cut back on his grueling schedule.

“We have been asking him to have holidays this year,” Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of the Pope's closest advisers, said during a visit to Washington this month. “Because last year he didn’t and sometimes he’s very tired.”

Francis has also worried Catholic officials by refusing to use the bulletproof Popemobile.

"It's true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose," he told Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia.

"I know that something could happen to me, but it's in the hands of God."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Asia • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • South Korea

soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. new-man

    Today’s Bread Is Not For Tomorrow: Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

    Doctors have discovered that worry, stress, fear and anxiety can cause stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and other health problems. The Bible says that a merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) It also says that God wants us to prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

    When our church was much smaller, I used to worry a lot about my sermons weeks before I even preached them! I was so stressed that I developed symptoms in my body. Two doctors checked me on separate days and found my blood pressure to be very high. Other tests found traces of blood in my urine. I even had mild panic attacks. I believe that the devil was trying to undermine my ministry and destroy me.

    But praise God, He delivered and healed me, and taught me not to worry. Today, the church is a lot bigger and I have learnt by the grace of God not to worry. The verse that set me free was this: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:34) You see, if you worry about tomorrow, you are trying to live tomorrow today!

    My friend, God does not want you to do that. Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” He did not say, “Give us this day our weekly bread.” God gives us daily bread, not weekly bread. God doesn’t give tomorrow’s bread today. And today’s bread is not meant for tomorrow!

    This means that God wants you to live today and not worry about what will happen or what you have to do tomorrow. He gives you sufficient grace for today, not tomorrow.

    “But Pastor Prince, I have a very important presentation to give tomorrow!”

    Beloved, when tomorrow comes, the bread—provision and grace—will be there. I am not advocating laziness and inactivity. By all means, do your homework, but don’t worry about it. Just trust the One who wants you to give Him all your cares (1 Peter 5:7), and enjoy His peace and life today!

    Thought For The Day: Don’t worry about tomorrow for when tomorrow comes, the bread—provision and grace—will be there.

    June 19, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • igaftr

      another advertisement for baseless belief.

      June 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • new-man

        and yet here you are, a sheep without a shepherd reveling in darkness because to you that darkness is light.

        June 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Reality

          Give us a break, your belief relies on a resurrection that never took place. Details previously presented.

          June 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • new-man

          thanks for your opinion. now I understand why you're so sad, you see.

          For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
          And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

          Peace friend – you need it.

          June 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          first, I am not a sheep, and require no shepherd.
          I am not reveling in darkness as you claim, simply because I don't believe the childrens stories you think are real.
          You think those childrens stories are "light" but that is simply you declaring it...all they really are is the product of men's imaginations, with none of the supernatural claims ever being verified, and some of them proven impossible.
          I also don't keep spamming in an attempt to bolster a baseless belief, as you continue to do.
          Sheep are notoriously stupid creatures, but if that is what you aspire to, knock yourslef out.

          June 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • new-man

          that's why you need a shepherd, so you will know God is light, not the events recorded for us.

          take a look at this board, every time a believer (of which there are few) makes a post, those with no belief (or so they claim) crawl from their dark places to snarl and throw insults. so, if anyone is trying to bolster their belief system, it's you and those of your ilk, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. hmm, that's a very big word, I better define it before you all go overboard.
          righteousness just means right believing, so unrighteousness is wrong belief. it's right believing that leads to right doing.

          June 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          "righteousness just means right believing, so unrighteousness is wrong belief. it's right believing that leads to right doing."

          Believing you are right is not right believing

          .Believing you are righteous can be very dangerous if you are not, and you do not know if you are right OR righteous. You only believe you are. I still need no shepherd, for I do not wish to be a sheep.

          June 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
    • otoh2

      "What, me worry?"

      Also from your "Matthew":
      "26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them."

      Also not worrying are:
      - Anopheles mosquitoes
      - Tsetse flies
      - Tapeworms
      - Hookworms
      - Uncountable lethal-to-humans viruses and bacteria

      Yep, good ol' "Father" provides for them abundantly...

      June 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • davidmer

        Not sure what you mean....we all die of something. Are you saying that God is not good because we die by those things? If he is God is he not responsible for all death? But then he would be responsible for all life as well. Maybe your argument comes down to "is it better to exist and die or to never have existed". By wait...this God offers "life ever lasting". Hmmmm....now I am not worried.

        June 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • otoh2

          ".this God offers "life ever lasting". "

          What makes you think that any god, let alone Bible "God", offers any such thing. And what makes you think that it actually happens?

          June 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • new-man

          And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

          everlasting life is not just for after your physical body can no longer house your spirit, everlasting life is right here, right now; everlasting life is having an intimate relationship with the only True God and Jesus Christ His Son.

          June 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • davidmer

          What makes you think it doesn't?

          June 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          There are over 400 "true gods". Men love to make up gods. You cannot show yours is any different.

          June 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • davidmer

          Please find another religion that rises or falls on actual historical events. (note I said "rises or falls"). Christianity is really note a religion at all, it is a person. Find a person like him....let me know when you do.

          June 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • otoh2

          I took greater note of the words "actual historical events." What would those be? (include verified/verifiable evidence)

          June 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • davidmer

          Why bother posting circular arguments?? You: "Your God is no different then 400 other gods" Response: "this is why Christianity is different" You: "Christianity is not true". What? You lose any argument where you try to change the grounds.

          June 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  2. nreclleshaj

    THE NEW JERUSALEM – body of Christ The Lord – Christ the Lord the King of Kings and Lord of Lords the son of the holy one of Israel.
    But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

    June 19, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  3. Kev

    It is impressive that the Pope at almost 80 years of age is globetrotting.
    He is probably jet-lagged, give him a break and leave him alone!

    June 19, 2014 at 11:03 am |
  4. zhilla1980wasp

    the guy is old, ofcourse he is sickly.

    as you age your body can't fend off bacteria and other illness as easily not to mention most of his organs won't be able to process things as well as they did even ten years ago.

    the pope is ill, not really news..........the guy is just old and will eventually die. that's life.

    June 19, 2014 at 7:20 am |
  5. tstormwarning

    Aren't you just full of hate & vinegar?

    June 19, 2014 at 6:26 am |
  6. saggyroy

    Maybe he should go to Lourdes.

    June 19, 2014 at 5:22 am |
    • Reality

      good point

      June 19, 2014 at 10:17 am |
  7. awanderingscot

    hot air
    aren't you a pro-choice person yourself?

    June 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
    • Akira

      Is there a point to that question? Because conflating the victims of pedophilia with being pro-choice is kind of a strange stance to take.

      June 18, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
  8. awanderingscot

    unbelievable, the emotional vomit that comes out of your mouth.

    June 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
    • otoh2


      Your own Listerine-washed words do not mask your bitterness.

      June 18, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
  9. Woody

    The rumor is that the pope is ill. Wouldn't the pope welcome the chance to be united with Jesus and the "saints" and the rest of the mythical sky creatures? Isn't this what it's all about, to live a "holy" life and then be welcomed into heaven? Why use medical science to try to prolong his life? If he is indeed ill, let him go and achieve his alleged final reward. Why would anyone want to live on earth when they could be residing in the mansion in the sky, without any troubles, pain or suffering? I just don't get it. It seems as if there's the tiniest bit of doubt among the church hierarchy, not to mention a lot of other "holy" people.

    June 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      "I just don't get it" – yeah and you probably never will.

      June 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
      • Madtown

        Only certain, special people like Scot are able to see God's truth clearly.

        June 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
      • Woody

        You probably don't get it either, unless you pay for it.

        June 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
      • evinar

        What is there to get? Does it require long, hard study of reality? Can I see your notes? Oh, wait, so it's based on your subjective experience? So how exactly the f%$# AM I supposed to get it?

        June 19, 2014 at 7:38 am |
  10. glades2

    The Pope's schedule would be grueling for anyone, and especially considering most his age are retired and at home – we're fortunate to have him in office...

    June 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What is so fortunate about having a leader of a criminal organization in office?

      June 19, 2014 at 10:20 am |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Breaking news – CRISIS IN THE VATICAN. An emergency session of cardinals has been called to address the shortage of Pope hats. Sunday mass may have to be conducted in the Popish yamuca... We will keep you apprised as the situation develops...

    June 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
    • evinar

      You obviously don't feel deep in your heart that there's an all-powerful father figure trying to reach out to you from outer space. You must be crazy or something. Don't you understand that emotion comes to us from this outer space father figure and is transmitted to the rest of your body and soul through the blood.... of Jesus? That's right, every time you have an emotion for this space being, your blood becomes the blood of Jesus. It's just science. I just proved it.

      June 19, 2014 at 7:43 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      Google is your friend. (A really really close friend who after a while can just about finish your sentences for you which you might find scary, but, what the heck s/he/it can find lots of interesting stuff.)

      June 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
  12. southerncelt

    So he creates commitees to investigate, and you are still ful of hate? No thanks, I'll follow the Gospel.

    June 18, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • nathanbrazil

      Wrong about the thwarting of public investigations. Sucks to be you I guess.

      June 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Oh but for the eloquent language of the uneducated atheist. where does your bitter root spring from?

      June 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
  13. unsername1

    What God fearing people are afraid of, if their guy is sick? Let's hope they are not lying.

    June 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  14. boh1066

    i am not a practicing catholic but i do admire the fact he doesn't want the bulletproof popemobile.

    June 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Breaking News – The Pope is old and tired, so he will sorta take some time off this summer...

    June 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • Akira

      There was a lot of things being written about him by some guy claiming that Francis was sick, dying, going to resign, etc that was picked up by wire serves and spread around.
      I suspect this is the answer to those unfounded rumors.

      June 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
  16. lunchbreaker

    Thank goodness. It's been too long since we had a Pope story.

    June 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      My thoughts exactly...

      June 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        And there's nothing better than a Pope story synthesized out of whole cloth.

        June 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • lividemerald2013

      You can always read about a fictional pope ("Pope on the Dole"). I read the book. It's also about a Jesuit pope–the very last pope, in fact. A fun read!

      June 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  17. Reality

    Good man but historically and theologically flawed.

    June 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Akira

      As you are a self-described atheist, it would follow that every theological view is flawed.
      So, that's a non-sequitur.

      June 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • Reality

      Which would make Francis very ill psychologically.

      June 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
      • Akira

        Nice strawman.

        June 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
    • Reality

      What ails Francis and all other members of the RCC?

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white, out of date hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      June 18, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • Akira

        Francis is no more psychologically ill than you are. Learn what the terms mean before you throw them around.

        June 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Reality

          Again Francis and his fellow Christians are psychologically ill i.e. ill in their minds as was Jesus-

          To wit: (for the new members of this blog)

          JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

          Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

          Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

          Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

          Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

          June 18, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • Akira

          And again you have zero understanding of what psychologically ill means. Your opinion of other people's opinions do not negate that basic fundamental fact.

          June 18, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • Reality

          Again, one must read the studies of OT and NT scholars to see just how insane the past and current followers of Jesus were and are.




          "in a state of mind that prevents normal perception"

          June 19, 2014 at 7:08 am |
        • davidmer

          I heard the definition of insanity was doing something over and over expecting a different result. Kind of like constantly posting on the internet and expecting people to be convinced.

          June 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • Reality

          or as in thu-mping passages from the OT and NT over and over.

          June 20, 2014 at 6:50 am |
      • southerncelt

        Gee, heresy is alive and well. Imagine that!

        June 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • evinar

          You mean people who disagree with you. Stop giving it that fancy name... do you give a fancy name to people who think your sh%$ smells?

          June 19, 2014 at 7:54 am |
      • kp10012

        @reality. You spread your stupidity everywhere. What a MoRoN. This pope won't be on Earth for long with the heresy that spews out of his mouth.

        June 18, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
      • nathanbrazil

        We all believe whatever we like. You included apparently.

        June 18, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • Reality

          Please note the referenced OT and NT scholars. Might want to contact them and discuss/rebut their studies and conclusions about said books.

          June 18, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • davidmer

          Please not these reference – Francis Collins (mapper of the Human Genome), John Polkinghorne (Oxford professor of Math), or Stanley Jaki (1924–2009) Benedictine priest and Distinguished Professor of Physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, who won a Templeton Prize and advocated the idea modern science could only have arisen in a Christian society.
          or Peter Kreef of Boston College etc. etc.
          Might want to contact them and discuss/rebut their studies and conclusions about said books.

          June 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Reality

          The referenced scientists are not OT or NT scholars.

          June 20, 2014 at 7:41 am |
  18. Akira

    Rumors fly.
    That being said, I still like this man, and wish him the best.

    June 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
  19. jefnvk

    He is not ill.... yet.

    Let's see how long that lasts if he wants to try to keep shoving through reforms stripping the elite of privilege and giving back to the poor.

    June 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  20. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    The man is 77. He is going to have an off day every now and again.

    Most men at 77 are not perfect specimens of health.

    June 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • igaftr

      You could have left the age out and it would still be correct. Most men are not perfect specimens of health.

      June 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.