Pope Francis has canceled a planned audience as a precaution after suffering a mild flu, the Vatican press office reported in a brief statement, without giving further details.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has canceled an audience scheduled for Saturday as a precautionary measure after suffering a mild flu, the Vatican press office reported in a brief statement, without giving further details.

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

The 87-year-old pontiff had already been forced to cancel some of his activities in November due to respiratory problems. An examination at that time ruled out pulmonary complications. Francisco had part of his lung removed when he was young and still living in his native Argentina.

Last April, the pope spent three days in Rome’s Gemelli hospital for what the Vatican said was bronchitis. He was discharged after receiving intravenous antibiotics.

Francisco also spent 10 days in the same hospital in July 2021 after intestinal surgery for intestinal narrowing. He was readmitted in June 2023 for an operation to repair an abdominal hernia and remove scars from previous surgeries.

When asked about his failing health in a recent television interview, Francis joked with what has become his standard refrain: “I’m still alive, you know.”

By Sam