The Holy Father implored, “Let us pray together that, with the help of God and medical attention, I will be able to be with you as soon as possible. Let us be hopeful!”
On June 10, Matteo Bruni, the Holy See Press Office Director, announced the postponement of the Holy Father’s third visit to Africa that had been unveiled last month, saying Pope Francis’ decision to postpone the trip was “at the request of his doctors”, and that it would take place at “a later date to be determined”.
In the program that was published May 28, the Holy See described the second leg of Pope Francis’ 37th Apostolic Visit abroad as an “Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage to the South Sudanese Land and People”.
The Holy Father was scheduled to undertake the pastoral visit to South Sudan alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace.
The 85-year-old Pontiff has been suffering from a torn ligament in his right knee, limiting his ability to walk. On May 19, he used a wheelchair during a public meeting, the first time he had done so publicly since leaving the hospital after colon surgery in July 2021.
The pain in his right knee has seen the Holy Father cancel some of his engagements. On May 9, the Tourism Minister of Lebanon announced that the Holy Father had postponed the June 12-13 trip to the Western Asian country “for health reasons”.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Canada next month, from July 24-29.
Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla is ACI Africa’s founding Editor-in-Chief. He was formed in the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), and later incardinated in Rumbek Diocese, South Sudan. He has a PhD in Media Studies from Daystar University in Kenya, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from Marist College, New York, USA.
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