Pope skips reading speech to European rabbis, saying he not feeling well

  • World
  • Monday, 06 Nov 2023

File photo: Pope Francis reacts as he meets faithful during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, June 7, 2023. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File photo

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis on Monday skipped reading a prepared speech for a meeting with European rabbis, telling them he was not feeling well.

"Good morning. I greet you all and I welcome you and thank you for this visit, which greatly pleases me. But it happens that I am not well and because of this I prefer not to read the speech but give you a copy," he told them.

Francis, 86, appeared to be short of breath as he greeted the rabbis at the start of the meeting.

Francis is missing part of one lung, which was removed when he was a young man in his native Argentina.

A Vatican spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment and no changes to the rest of the pope's schedule for the schedule for Monday were announced.

The pope had surgery in June 7 to repair an abdominal hernia. He spent nine days in hospital and appears to have recovered completely from that operation.

He has made three trips abroad since the surgery and is scheduled to go to Dubai next month for the COP28 United Nations climate summit.

(Reporting by Philip PullellaEditing by Keith Weir and Hugh Lawson)

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