Pope Francis with participants in a conference on Trinitarian International Solidarity at the Vatican, April 25, 2022. / Vatican Media.
Vatican City, Apr 26, 2022 / 05:26 am (CNA).
Pope Francis canceled his engagements on Tuesday due to ongoing knee pain, the Holy See press office said.
“Due to pain in his knee, and on medical advice, Pope Francis has interrupted the activities planned for today, including participation in the Council of Cardinals, a new session of which is underway these days,” the press office said on April 26.
Francis, 85, has been suffering from pain in his right knee, causing him to take smaller roles in some liturgies and to remain seated more often.
His agenda was cleared on April 22 for medical checkups, and he preached at, but did not preside over, Mass for the Octave Day of Easter on April 24.
The pope’s movements have been visibly more limited since the start of the year.
At the general audience on Jan. 26, he said the reason he was unable to greet pilgrims as usual was because of a temporary “problem with my right leg,” an inflamed knee ligament.
With a smile, he added: “They say this only comes to old people, and I don’t know why it has come to me, but … I don’t know.”
On Good Friday, Pope Francis did not prostrate himself before the cross. The pope also opted to not celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass, though he attended and delivered the homily.
On Easter Sunday, he had to sit down part way through his delivery of the Urbi et Orbi message and blessing.
Pope Francis has also received more assistance walking and going up and down stairs in recent weeks.
While meeting with members of the Trinitarian order on Monday, Pope Francis referred to his knee ailment, which kept him from standing to greet all of them.
“After the photo I will greet you, but excuse me, as I have to do so seated, not standing, because of my knee… It is that condition that used to be called ‘nun’s disease,’ because it was the time when the nuns prayed, and they spent so much time praying on their knees that they suffered from this! It will heal, but in the meantime, we need to do things in the right way,” he said on April 25.