Pope Francis: canceling stuff right and left

Apparently His Holiness of our Lord is drawing X’s through his appointment book.  Everything must go!  Wednesday audiences, daily semi-public Masses, etc.

In addition to clearing his book for July, tonight in Rome he has chosen not to accompany the Blessed Sacrament from St John Lateran to St Mary Major in the customary procession for Corpus Domini (aka Corpus Christi).

Instead of walking in the procession (he can’t walk that far) with the monstrance to St. Mary Major, he will go separately in a car.  Card. Vallini, the Vicar of Rome, will go with the Blessed Sacrament.

Rumors will fly that the Pope is seriously ill. My spies tell me that this is not the case.


At least one outlet has this: HERE

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  1. Phil_NL says:

    Perhaps he’s making room to do some hands-on reorganizing of the curia; that issue has percolated for quite a while now.

    Or perhaps he’s making time to give some other quarters a good smacking; plenty of targets possible, most of them deserved.

    Or maybe His Holiness decided that he is in danger of getting overworked, even the day-to-day tidbits can do that in an office like his, if the appointment book isn’t guarded like Ft. Knox.

    We’ll find out in due course, most likely.

  2. jmcj says:

    If he’s not sick, then why wouldn’t he want to be part of the Corpus Christi procession?

  3. Muv says:

    Happy Feast Day, Father.

    Blazing hot here and lots of goldfinches around. 7.30 Mass this evening courtesy of the Latin Mass Society.

  4. Joseph-Mary says:

    Well, perhaps no “off the cuff” interviews in July which is not a bad thing! May he have a good rest.

  5. Charlie Cahill says:

    Perhaps he does not want to draw attention away from the Blessed Sacrament by his being there in the procession?

  6. Genna says:

    I believe that St Mary Major is the basilica where 120 homeless immigrants are encamped. They have apparently written to the Pope for help but claim they have received no reply.

  7. acardnal says:

    CNS says his schedule is similar to last year’s. But the article doesn’t really say what the status of his health is.


  8. Iacobus M says:

    His Holiness has certainly been full of surprises, has he not?

  9. dhgyapong says:

    Last year, the Holy Father walked the route from St. John Lateran to St. Mary Major. I was there, my camera trained on the popemobile, only to discover the Blessed Sacrament was riding atop in the monstrance and Pope Francis was walking behind it. So, by being another pilgrim like the rest of us, he put the spotlight on Jesus. It’s at least a kilometre walk down the Meraluna. Maybe that platform Pope Benedict eventually began using to get down the football field length of St. Peter’s could eventually come in handy. My husband, who watched the procession on television, hoping I was not in the thick of the crowd when it swelled (I was!) noticed a year ago the pope was limping and had to stop from time to time to catch his breath. It’s wise for him to pace himself.

  10. terryprest says:

    Rather strange all of this. In last Sunday`s Angelus, he said to the crowd:

    ” Giovedì prossimo, secondo la tradizione romana, celebreremo la Santa Messa a San Giovanni in Laterano e poi faremo la processione con il Santissimo Sacramento. Invito i romani e i pellegrini a partecipare per esprimere il nostro desiderio di essere un popolo «adunato nell’unità del Padre e del figlio e dello Spirito Santo» (San Cipriano). Vi aspetto tutti il prossimo giovedì, alle 19.00, per la Messa e la Processione del Corpus Christi.”

  11. frjim4321 says:

    Hmmm, I hope he’s okay.

  12. marcpuckett says:

    If His Holiness is celebrating the Mass, and being driven to Santa Maria Maggiore to perform the Solemn Benediction, seems to me it is just the walking the Via Merulana that’s the issue. Not a doctor of course but if something has gone wrong with e.g. a foot or ankle, then it’s best to let that heal before Korea, Albania….

  13. tcreek says:

    These pictures from Mons. Guido Marini’s Facebook page don’t seem to show the Holy Father in his usual animated manner. Or maybe I’m reading too much into this because of the cancellations. Snapshots are easily misconstrued.


  14. Tony from Oz says:

    And here’s a google translation of Terryprest’s PF quote above:

    “Next Thursday, according to the Roman tradition, we will celebrate the Mass in San Giovanni in Laterano and then we will do the procession with the Blessed Sacrament. I invite Romans and pilgrims to participate in to express our desire to be a people “gathered together in the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (San Cipriano). I expect you all the next Thursday, to 19.00 , for the Mass and the Procession of Corpus Christi. ” :)

  15. southern orders says:

    I noted on my blog after the Pentecost Mass that His Holiness was not wearing the papal cassock under his alb for this Mass and it is clear in the photos, especially when sprinkling the congregation if you look at the sleeve of the alb, that he isn’t wearing the cassock. Someone commented on my post that he wasn’t wearing his cassock under the alb when he celebrated the outdoor Masses in the Holy Land. I suspect there is a health issue and even the weight of the cassock under the alb is problematic for him as this seems to be a recent decision to forgo wearing it as part of the papal vesture for Mass.

  16. NBW says:

    Saying prayers for Pope Francis.

  17. Salvelinus says:

    Pray for pope Francis.
    He looks ill, and I hate to admit this, by I don’t trust some in the Vatican after what was done to Benedict

  18. Quanah says:

    I’m actually glad to hear that he will not be participating in the procession from the Lateran to Mary Major. I was at that procession in 2005 when Benedict first did it and the people went crazy yelling “il papa,” probably chanting “Benedetto” (I honestly don’t remember), and cheering instead of joining our Holy Father in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for Benedict, to be so transfixed on our Lord and to hear himself receiving the praise.

  19. Peter G says:

    I suspect he may be taking time out to watch his beloved Argentina win the World Cup.

  20. Priam1184 says:

    I agree with dhgyapong, I watched the procession on EWTN last year and the Holy Father did not look like he was having the greatest day of his life; I remember thinking to myself at that time “Oh Lord we just had one pope resign, let’s not lose this one!”

    Don’t know what Francis is up to. We hear rumors of big Curial shake ups all the time: remember the empty chair at the symphony a while back, but I doubt that’s what is going down. I worry about the man because he has been terribly mishandled and abused in one way or another by pretty much all quarters within the Church (especially in the Vatican itself) and I am afraid that, since his predecessor has now established an escape route, he might take off on us of these days.

  21. until i know otherwise believe he is ill. They’re infallible not superhuman.

  22. Random Friar says:

    The poor man is missing part of his lungs. I imagine colds and flus do a good number on him.

  23. robtbrown says:

    acardnal says:
    CNS says his schedule is similar to last year’s. But the article doesn’t really say what the status of his health is.

    The Italians have a saying: La salute del papa e buona fino al sua morte.

    The pope is in good health until his death.

  24. JudicaMe says:

    I agree with Random Friar. I remember asking my mom as a young boy while watching St. John Paul II’s Christmas or Easter Vigil Mass from our living room in Indonesia, “Why is the Pope like that?” And my mom would say something along the line of, “He carries the burden of the entire world on his shoulder. Without God’s help he will already be crushed.”

    Speedy recovery, Holy Father. We pray for you.

  25. benedetta says:

    I hope that our Holy Father is able to rest.

  26. mburn16 says:

    “CNS says his schedule is similar to last year’s”

    Which may well be true. The problem is, this is something of a smokescreen. It certainly is the custom for Popes to take on a reduced summer schedule – both because of the comparatively fewer liturgical occasions, and because of the oppressive summer conditions in Rome. The problem isn’t that the Pope has a light schedule, but that he had something OTHER than a light schedule, and suddenly started cancelling things left and right.

  27. celpar says:

    He’s an elderly man. Perhaps after over a year of hyperactivity, not always to much purpose, he’s learned what Pope Benedict knew from the start: when you’re nearly 80 husbanding your strength is a good idea.

  28. Stephen McMullen says:

    Only two explanations: He is very tired (probable)

    Two: He is Argentinian. Good time to take a rest and watch the World Cup!

  29. Robbie says:

    Edward Pentin has written recently about the Pope’s health. Essentially, doctors with whom he’s spoken suggest the Pope may be suffering from COPD and some of the other symptoms that disease can bring. I certainly hope that proves not to be the case. I watched my Grandmother, over the course of four or five years, die from that.

    I don’t think the Pope looks sick at all, but I noticed, both at the Christmas Eve Mass and the Canonization Mass, he appeared short of breath and uneasy on his feet. I also noticed that he’s put on some weight since he was elected in March 2013. His weight gain could easily be explained by steroids given to help boost his immune system since, with only one fully function lung, colds/fevers can become much more if not treated aggressively.

  30. KM Edwards says:

    @ Charlie Cahill may be right, the Italian link that Fr Z provided actually reports that the Holy Father’s stated reason is so that his presence does not distract or take away from the focus and attention due to Eucharistic Lord. This is a good thing.

    You have to believe that the 77 year old pontiff is starting to feel his age alot more, and particularly as the Roman heat kicks in for the summer. Perhaps this may be a grace to inspire him to keep a low profile permanently and plan on ending the impromptu interviews and off the cuff remarks. My God give him strength and through this humbling of age, heat and Eucharistic devotion, turn more towards the Apostolic Tradition.

    I doubt the World Cup is a factor – the games start at 12 noon EST daily, which is 1800 Rome time. So most of the days in Rome are game free until 6pm. Leaves alot of day time for Pope Francis to say alot and do alot before the games start, if that was his intent.

  31. robtbrown says:

    JudicaMe says:

    I agree with Random Friar. I remember asking my mom as a young boy while watching St. John Paul II’s Christmas or Easter Vigil Mass from our living room in Indonesia, “Why is the Pope like that?” And my mom would say something along the line of, “He carries the burden of the entire world on his shoulder. Without God’s help he will already be crushed.”

    When JPII visited the Angelicum, he came in, sat down, and began to read a speech. It seemed total agony, and I wondered whether he would live to finish it. Finally, he did. Then he stood up, walked to the microphone and was very animated and witty. Some of his former Dominican colleagues in Krakow were present and he acknowledged them with a few jokes.

    Resurrexit. Sicut dixit.

  32. robtbrown says:

    should be: alla sua morte.

  33. Paliakas1 says:

    Probably does not want to do anything connected to a prior liturgical period or their is not enough media on the route.

  34. TNCath says:

    Well, we have to face this and other similar events in the foreseeable future: Pope Francis is 77 years old and is not into liturgy. The thought of having to process from the Lateran to St. Mary Major (and not on a float, as Pope Benedict did) was probably a little more than he could take after the rigorous schedule he has kept lately. I don’t think it has anything to do with his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, but I am sorry he felt the need to cancel.

  35. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I have heard maybe the first stage of congenital heart failure from poor respiration. The Holy Father needs LOTS of prayers! The weight gain is a bad indicator for a person with respiratory issues.

  36. capchoirgirl says:

    Steroids don’t *boost* your immune system, they suppress it. Weight gain isn’t always a bad indicator for a person with respiratory issues; if you’re on steroids, especially a high dose, it’s going to happen. You can have respiratory problems and not gain weight, or be retaining any fluid that would be a strain on the kidneys or the heart.

  37. Robbie says:


    You are correct. Steroids help reduce swelling in the lungs so I didn’t portray what I meant to convey very well. Still, a side effect can be fluid retention and that might explain some of the weight gain.

    Having said that, it’s important not to get sidetracked about this issue. It’s far better to hope and pray there are no reasons to be concerned.

  38. capchoirgirl says:

    Right, you’re correct. :)
    And indeed, praying for the pope is never a bad idea!

  39. donato2 says:

    If he is sick, why doesn’t the Vatican just say so? I’ve never understood why the Vatican is so secretive when it comes to information about the health of a pope.

  40. robtbrown says:

    Fr_Sotelo says:

    I have heard maybe the first stage of congenital heart failure from poor respiration. The Holy Father needs LOTS of prayers! The weight gain is a bad indicator for a person with respiratory issues.

    It’s no secret that he wasn’t in the best of health when he was elected. I have no idea what’s the current problem, if any, but the Jesuits have a well-earned reputation as workaholics. My guess is that, in addition to certain activities being physically taxing, he’s setting a priority on desk work.

  41. Reliquary says:

    He has not cancelled appointments left and right. American media outlets ran with that headline, and I shook my head at the latest inaccuracy. One minute the story is that cardinals are advising him to finally take a holiday because he never takes time off, and then he does exactly what he did last year, which is not to schedule certain things in the hot summer to begin with, and he’s canceling appointments? He’s cancelled only a few appointments in his entire pontificate. When he has a cold, it seems to last a day or two, while mine lasts two weeks! I do agree that he is not looking as lively as he had been, and there are a million reasons that could be.

    Praying for our dear Papa.

  42. Nun2OCDS says:

    Whether or not the Holy Father’s not riding in the procession was due to health or avoid drawing attention to himself is something about which we will know the truth only in a long time. It is sad that we did not see him in adoration at all. As I remember he stood from the time time the Blessed Sacrament was exposed until It was taken in procession and then there was no period of adoration at St. Mary Major. Please correct me if I missed it. It is a loss not to see the Pope leading by example in adoring the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

  43. Jon says:

    He looks no better or worse here: http://www.photovat.com/

    As he refuses to take a real one in August when popes and the rest of Italy typically take theirs, and is going to Asia then to boot, I’m betting this is simply an enforced “staycation” and nothing more.

  44. SKAY says:


    Another story about Pope Francis and what he is doing and his health.

  45. Father P says:

    Could it just be that after a 2 hour liturgy the poor man just had to pee?

  46. When Pope Francis was first elected noticed 2 things;
    he never sings or chants at Mass. If you watch him walk he always appears to be short of breathe.
    The other thing i noticed right off the bat was his gait when walking. It isn’t w/o much difficulty. IMHO he wasn’t in good health from the very beginning but people don’t alway see it because he looks to be so happy. I honestly don’t think he’s for this world for long and we probably ought to be prepared.

  47. in a strange twist it may be that our beloved Pope Emeritus outlives our current Holy Father.I love them both.

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