'Slightly indisposed' Pope cancels Rome sortie

Pope Francis

 VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis was "slightly indisposed" Thursday and cancelled a planned trip to the Basilica of St Mary Major to hear the confessions of clergymen at the start of Lent, the Vatican said.

 Due to the “slight indisposition” the 83-year-old pontiff “preferred to stay in the area near to Santa Marta,” the guesthouse in the tiny Vatican city state where Francis has modest accommodation, Holy See chief spokesman Matteo Bruni  said.

 Vatican sources sais the pope has symptoms of a common cold. On Wednesday during Ash Wednesday ceremonies observers noted that he was becoming somewhat hoarse while speaking.

 jp