After illness, Pope appears in good form while presiding over scorching general audience

The Associated Press
June 11, 2014 05:03 AM

Poeple gather to see Pope Francis drive by during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has presided over a scorching hot audience in St. Peter's Square in seemingly good form after cancelling two days of meetings due to an illness.

Francis began his weekly Wednesday audience about an hour early, meeting with sick and disabled pilgrims who were moved to an indoor Vatican auditorium to spare them the searing 34-degree Celsius (93-degree Fahrenheit) temperatures in the piazza.

Francis told them: "We thought you'd be better off in here, where it's a bit cooler, and not under that burning sun."

Afterward, Francis presided as usual over the hour-long audience outdoors. He made off-the-cuff remarks denouncing corrupt businessmen, human trafficking and forced child labour.

The 77-year-old pontiff came down with an unspecified illness on Monday, cancelled his audiences and took Tuesday to rest.

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