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June 23, 2017

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Pope cancels official visit to hospital, citing ailment

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis canceled a planned visit to one of Rome's main hospitals Friday, the third time this month the 77-year-old has skipped or scaled back an event due to illness or fatigue.

Francis had been due to visit the Gemelli hospital to celebrate a Mass there Friday afternoon. But nearly an hour after he was due to arrive, the Vatican issued a statement saying he was canceling the trip due to an "unexpected indisposition."

Later, the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the pope's appointments for the weekend were confirmed and that there were "no concerns for his health."

The Argentine-born pontiff has only one full lung and suffers from a bad back that can make walking painful. Earlier this month, he skipped two days of audiences due to a stomach bug, then decided not to walk a mile-long procession last week to rest up for a grueling trip to southern Italy.

The Vatican has insisted the pope isn't suffering from any major health issues, pointing to his busy schedule and plans for a whirlwind trip to South Korea in August.

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