Pope Francis Postpones Upcoming Trip to Africa 'at the Request of His Doctors' Due to Knee Problems

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Pope francis
Pope francis

Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Pope Francis

Pope Francis is delaying an upcoming trip due for health reasons.

The Vatican announced on Friday that the Pope's visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, originally scheduled for the first week of July, will be pushed back. A date has not yet been announced.

"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, his Apostolic Journey," Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See Press Office, shared in a statement.

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Back in May, around the same time he began using wheelchairs for public events, the 85-year-old pontiff discussed his knee during an interview published in Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera.

During the interview, he said he had a torn ligament and was "prescribed a series of knee injections."

"I can't walk around anymore. Once upon a time popes used to be carried around in their sedan chair. But a bit of pain can be humbling, a blessing in disguise," he added.

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The pontiff has also joked about an alternative method of dealing with the pain.

"Do you know what I need for my knee?" he said in May, while speaking with a group of Mexican seminarians during an audience at St. Peter's Square that was captured on video, according to the Associated Press.

"Some tequila," he answered, per the AP, which reported that the group promised to send him some.

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The Pope, who underwent colon surgery back in 2021 and deals with sciatica, has already postponed a number of trips this year, including visits to Lebanon and Florence, according to The New York Times.

He is currently scheduled to visit Canada next month.