Sheesh, can’t a guy take a day off?
The Twittersphere lit up Tuesday morning after a Vatican spokesman sent a brief e-mail saying Pope Francis was tired and would be taking his first full day off since he became pope a year ago.
Here is the entire e-mail from the Rev. Thomas Rosica, who assists the Vatican press office with English language media:
“Following a very historic and full weekend, Pope Francis has chosen to rest on Monday afternoon and today, Tuesday. He celebrated mass privately this morning and has cancelled audiences and meetings for the day. Therefore there will be no homily notes available today. The Holy See Press Office has assured us that the Pope’s condition is not serious. Thank you.”
Just this weekend one of the pope’s top advisers said they are urging Francis to take his first vacation, reminding him that he is 77 years old and has been going nonstop since being elected in March 2013. He just returned from the Holy Land and this weekend hosted Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Rome.
In an interview Tuesday morning, Rosica said there is no known health problem with the pope, who is simply “very tired from a grueling past two weeks. There is nothing wrong with him.”
Francis touched on the issue of his health a few weeks ago after a reporter asked if he would consider retiring if he was too tired to do his job effectively.
“I will do what the Lord tells me to do,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “I think that Benedict XVI is not a unique case. I think we should see him as an institution who opened a door, the door of emeritus popes.”
Francis said the fact that people were living longer had made the possibility of popes resigning for health reasons in the future more likely, Reuters reported.
When it comes to a pope who has pumped incredible energy into the global Catholic Church, every detail about his health is under extra scrutiny. Since the day Francis was picked and his popularity became increasingly more apparent, church leaders have noted the many prayers for him to stay healthy and remain in office.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, who heads a top advisory body for Francis, said earlier this year that Francis’s critics — typically conservatives concerned about his tendency to speak off-the-cuff and not specifically about church doctrine — would welcome a short papacy.
“I have even heard people say, ‘We are praying for him (Francis) to die as soon as possible,’ ” Maradiaga said, according to Religion News Service.