September 27, 2022
Knee problem forces Pope Francis to cancel Africa trip

The Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said the planned visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan in early July had been cancelled “at the request of his doctors in order not to jeopardise the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee” and would be rescheduled to a later date.

Francis, who appeared in public using a wheelchair for the first time in early May, has cancelled several engagements since having a minor operation to treat knee pain. The Vatican has not revealed exactly what the problem is, but Francis told Corriere della Sera last month he needed a minor “intervention with infiltration” due to a strained ligament.

Rumours continue to circulate that Francis could follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Benedict XVI and resign from his post. The talk grew after he announced he would travel to the Abruzzo town of L’Aquila in late August to attend a feast that was initiated by a 13th-century pope who himself resigned after just five months in the job.

The speculation appears to have started during a private meeting with bishops in May, during which the pope made a joke in reference to his knee. “It would be better to resign than to be operated on,” he reportedly said.

» continue to The Guardian