Pope Francis has called off his scheduled activities on Saturday, citing “light flu symptoms,” just one week before a pivotal climate address he is set to deliver at the UN climate summit in Dubai.
“The audiences of the Holy Father planned for this morning have been cancelled as a result of light flu symptoms,” stated a brief release from the Vatican, raising concerns about the health of the pontiff who has been an influential figure on global issues, including climate change.
Pope Francis, known for his strong stance on environmental issues, is anticipated to deliver a highly anticipated speech at the climate summit, where he is expected to criticize the perceived inaction of governments and call for intensified efforts to combat the pressing challenges of greenhouse gas emissions.
The timing of the Pope’s health setback adds a layer of uncertainty to his participation in the critical summit, casting a shadow over the potential impact of his climate address. As speculation surrounding his health has intensified in recent months, marked by his use of a wheelchair, questions loom about the possibility of him considering stepping aside, reminiscent of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.