Pope Francis has been forced to postpone his upcoming trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan in July due to his ongoing knee pain, which has caused him to use a wheelchair in recent months.
A Vatican statement said the trip was being postponed ‘at the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee’ and that it would be rescheduled to an undetermined later date.
The six-day trip, originally scheduled for July 2-7, was announced in March.
The Pope was scheduled to travel to South Sudan, both in 2017 and again this year, on an ecumenical pilgrimage with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, both of whom have been involved in the South Sudanese peace process.
Rev Dr Iain Greenshields said that he was ‘sorry to hear that Pope Francis has been forced to postpone our historic Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Peace to South Sudan for health reasons and I hope that he makes a speedy recovery and he is assured that our prayers are with him’.