Europe

Bad knee forces Pope Francis to call off Congo, South Sudan visit

Announcement likely to renew concerns about pontiff’s health condition

Alvise Armellini   | 10.06.2022
Bad knee forces Pope Francis to call off Congo, South Sudan visit

ROME

Pope Francis will no longer travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan next month due to the knee ailment that in recent weeks has confined him on a wheelchair, the Vatican announced on Friday.

The trip was scheduled for July 2-7, but “at the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has been forced to postpone, with regret,” the Vatican press office said.

The journey will be rescheduled “to a later date to be determined,” it added.

The announcement is likely to renew concerns about the pontiff’s health condition, which have already sparked rumors about his possible resignation in the coming months. The Vatican has not commented on the speculation.

Francis, 85, suffers from strained ligaments in his right knee, which make it very painful for him to walk. Doctors have advised him to rest as much as possible to aid the healing process.

It is the second trip that the pope has canceled over the course of the last few weeks. In early May, a Lebanese minister said a papal visit, never officially announced but expected in mid-June, had been postponed for health reasons.

Francis is still scheduled to travel to Canada between July 26-30.

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