Pope Francis, 85, has been forced to postpone his trip to Africa, scheduled for July 2-7, due to knee pain, the Vatican announced Friday (June 10).
The announcement comes a few days after the Vatican had released a detailed programme outline for the six-day trip Kinshasa, Goma and Juba
"The Holy Father, accepting the request of his doctors and in order not to compromise the results of the knee therapies still underway, is forced to postpone his trip to a later date to be determined," the director of the Holy See press office, Matteo Bruni, announced in a statement.
The statement did not mention the trip to Canada scheduled for 24-30 July, during which the Pope is expected to renew his apology for decades of abuse in residential schools for indigenous people.
In early May, Lebanon had already announced the postponement of the pope's visit to the country scheduled for June, citing "health reasons".
Suffering from severe pain in his right knee, the Argentine pontiff has been in a wheelchair since the beginning of May and has announced that he will have to undergo infiltrations, injections of corticoid-based anti-inflammatory drugs.
"I've been in this condition for a while now, I can't walk anymore," he told the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera in May, after being forced to cancel several meetings scheduled on his agenda.