Pope Francis walks with a cane at the beginning of a meeting with Brazilian bishops on June 27, 2022. / Vatican Media
Vatican City, Jun 28, 2022 / 07:30 am (CNA).
The Vatican has released a video of Pope Francis telling a group of bishops from Brazil this week that his mobility has improved.
“I have been able to walk for three days,” the pope said with a wave on June 27 as he walked with the help of a cane across the library of the Apostolic Palace.
Pope Francis’ wheelchair could be seen in the back of the room as he greeted the Brazilian bishops. The pope has used a wheelchair for many of his public audiences for nearly two months.
The 85-year-old pope’s comment comes after he used a cane to walk a short distance during the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families on June 25 and across the stage of Paul VI Hall in an audience with Neocatechumenal Way members on June 27.
Pope Francis has said that he began medical treatment for a knee injury the first week of May. He has postponed two international trips to Lebanon and South Sudan due to his health.
In Pope Francis’ meeting with the delegation of Brazilian bishops, he encouraged them to talk with him for as long as they wanted and to speak “without censorship.”
The meeting lasted for three hours as Brazilian bishops spoke of their concerns about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest with the pope, according to Vatican News’ Portuguese language service.
During the discussion about the Amazon, Archbishop Evaristo Pascoal Spengler of Marajo said that Pope Francis “closed his eyes in an expression of pain and suffering and then asked: ‘What can we do?’”
“He is very sensitive to this reality of destruction in the Amazon,” said Spengler, who serves as the president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (Repam).
Multiple delegations of bishops from Brazil have been meeting with the pope in May and June during their ad limina visit to Rome.
An “ad limina apostolorum” visit is a papal meeting required for every diocesan bishop in the world to provide an update on the state of one’s diocese. The trip to Rome, usually made together with all the bishops from a country or region, also serves as a pilgrimage to “the threshold of the apostles,” giving the bishops, who are the successors of the apostles, the opportunity to pray at the tomb of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Ad limina visits typically take place every five years, as the world’s more than 5,300 bishops rotate through Rome. The last ad limina visit for U.S. bishops was in November 2019.