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I don’t want surgery, Pope declares in discussing knee

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz - published on 05/24/22

The Holy Father says anesthesia last July was difficult, and he wants to stay out of the operating room.

Pope Francis does not want another surgery, he told the bishops of Italy on May 23 during their plenary assembly. The Holy Father spoke with the bishops for some two hours, touching on a variety of topics, including his health.

The Pope said that the general anesthesia for his colon surgery last July 4 had brought disagreeable side-effects, and therefore he doesn’t want an operation for his knee. The Holy Father ended up staying in the hospital 10 days on that occasion last summer, when the Vatican originally announced a seven-day hospital recovery.

Now, the Pope said, he’s hoping that injections and physical therapy will relieve his knee pain enough to work, and keep him out of the operating room.

The Holy Father has been in a wheelchair for most public activities since May 5, but at times, he’s been using a tripod cane, such as in this event tweeted by Caritas on May 15.

While the Holy Father’s knee trouble has caused some changes to his schedule, he already has two international trips on the calendar for this summer, with South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo slated for early July, and Canada slated for the end of July.

According to a tweet from his friend, the archbishop of La Plata, Argentina, the Pope is doing more than two hours of rehab a day, and this is helping his knee pain to improve.

Pope Francis has shown both a sense of humor and a spiritual perspective regarding his knee, even if the cameras have caught his face reflecting severe pain at times.

“A bit of pain can be humbling, a blessing in disguise…” he said in an interview in early May. And before that, he spoke to pilgrims from Slovakia about offering up the “humiliation” for them.

As well, he joked with a group of religious from Mexico that what he needed to heal the ailment was actually tequila!

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Pope Francis
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