Francis: Pope Francis apologizes for canceling trip to Africa

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Sunday apologized to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan for having to cancel his visit due to walking difficulties, saying he hoped his condition would improve.
The Vatican announced on Thursday that the July 2-7 trip had been indefinitely postponed due to the 85-year-old pope’s knee ailment, which has left him in a wheelchair for more than a month.
“I deeply regret that I had to postpone this journey, which I still very much want to make,” he said in his Sunday address to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.
“I ask you to forgive me for this. Let’s pray together that with God’s help and with medical treatment, I can come to you as soon as possible. We have high hopes,” he said, addressing the people and authorities directly from both countries.
The Vatican said Thursday the trip was being postponed “so as not to jeopardize the results of the therapy he is undergoing for his knee”.
On Sunday, he called his condition, believed to be a torn ankle ligament, “problems with my leg.” Francis also suffers from sciatica, which caused him to limp before the knee problem flared up.
Vatican sources have said the pope has been given multiple injections a week for the ailment, as well as physical therapy, and that he had hoped he would be able to walk at least partially again before the trip started.
They said the Pope is against surgery because of problems with general anesthesia following surgery to remove part of his bowel a year ago.
The Pope will still visit Canada from July 24-30.
He also urged his audience not to get used to the war in Ukraine. “Let’s not let the passage of time numb our pain and our concern for those tortured people,” he said.

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