“Due to knee pain, and on medical advice, Pope Francis has interrupted his activities planned for today,” the Vatican press office reported April 26, 2022. The day before, the Argentine Pope said of his knee, “It will heal, but in the meantime we must do things right.”
This is the second time in just a few days that the Pope has interrupted his appointments because of his health. Last Friday, the Pope also cleared his calendar for medical examinations – the Press Office did not specify whether these were related to his right knee.
The Pope will not attend a meeting of his Council of Cardinals. This council, created by Francis in 2013, now brings together seven cardinals appointed by the Pontiff to advise him in the government of the Church. According to a Vatican source, he was able to attend a meeting of the council on Monday afternoon.
The same source said that the Pope’s many audiences on Monday worsened his pain and that he needs to rest.
For the time being, the traditional Wednesday morning general audience in St. Peter’s Square has been maintained.
The ‘nuns’ sickness’
The Pope seems to be suffering more and more from this knee inflammation. For the past few weeks, he has avoided standing as much as possible and his limp is extremely notable. This year he has been forced to cancel his participation in several events, including a trip to Florence at the end of February.
In early April, during his trip to Malta, for the first time he used an elevator to get on and off the plane. Last Sunday, as at some previous Masses, he chose not to preside at Mass but rather to give the homily while seated.
On Monday, Pope Francis told participants in the International Trinitarian Solidarity Conference that his knee was hurting and that he was unable to stand up to greet them. “It’s an ailment from the past, which used to be called the ‘nuns’ ailment’ because the nuns used to pray on their knees and get indisposed,” said the 85-year-old Pope.
“It will heal,” he assured them, “but in the meantime, we must do things right.”