14 June 2014, The Tablet

Papal summer plans announced but no sign of a holiday for Francis

by Christopher Lamb in Rome

The Vatican today released the Pope's summer schedule announcing that Wednesday general audiences will be suspended during the month of July but made no mention of whether Francis will take a holiday.

During July and August the Masses with small groups celebrated by the Pope in the Domus Sanctae Marthae will also cease and start again in September.

General audiences will resume in the Vatican during August apart from the 13 August - when the Pope is visiting Korea - and Francis will continue to lead the Angelus on Sundays in St Peter's throughout July and August.
Last year the Pope remained based at the Vatican throughout the summer period, did not hold general audiences in July, and also suspended the semi-public Masses at the Sanctae Marthae.

Today's announcement also made no mention of whether the Pope will visit the papal summer residence of Castelgandolfo - last year he celebrated Wednesday audiences and Sunday Angelus' there.

There have been concerns for the Pope's health after he cancelled his appointments on Monday following a prayer meeting with the Presidents of Israel and Palestine the day before.

One of his closest advisers, Cardinal Oscar Rodriquez Maradiaga, is reported to have urged the Pope, 77, to take a break. Since his election 16 months ago the Pope has worked solidly without a holiday.

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