ROME – Pope Francis has abandoned plans for a trip to Florence this weekend and will not be able to preside over next week’s Ash Wednesday services because of acute knee pain, the Vatican said on Friday. .
The Pope’s doctor had “appointed a period of more rest for the leg” because of “acute kidney pain” or knee pain, the Vatican explained in a note.
The note did not specify whether the problem was related to Francis’ previous difficulties with sciatica, a chronic neurological condition that causes pain in his back, hips and legs, causing him to limp too much. past.
That state of affairs, which Francis, 85, has called “an annoying guest,” also makes it difficult for him to stand up for long periods of time.
Francis was hospitalized for surgery in July to remove part of his colon, but overall he is judged to be in good health. However, the outburst means he will not participate in a meeting in Florence on Sunday with bishops and mayors from the Mediterranean region, nor will he preside over Mass Wednesday services. Ashes begin Lent.
In recent weeks, Francis has complained of tendonitis in his right knee. At a general audience last month, he apologized to the faithful after informing them he would not be able to move between them to deliver his private greetings.
The problem is “temporary,” he said, adding a smile: “They say this only happens to old people, and I don’t know why it happened to me.”
A few days earlier, he had apologized in another audience that he would have to sit still. “My leg hurts, and it gets worse if I keep standing,” he said.
Sciatica forced Francis to skip New Year’s Mass more than a year ago, and Francis attended an extortion ceremony last New Year’s Eve, but he didn’t preside over it as scheduled. initially.
According to the Vatican press office, the pain in his knee did not prevent him from visiting the Russian Ambassador to the Holy See on Friday morning to “express concern about the war” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that Francis spent more than half an hour with ambassador Alexander Avdeev.
And the pope is also planning to go further. On Friday, the Vatican announced his itinerary for a visit to Malta in early April.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/world/europe/pope-knee-pain.html Pope Francis asked to sit out of Mass because of knee pain