Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan has been cancelled because of a knee injury, the Vatican has announced.
The Vatican in a statement in May had said the Pope will still make the July 2-7 despite his health issues.
The latest announcement made speculation about the pope’s visit to Africa being postponed true. He had postponed a trip to Lebanon scheduled for June.
TOS NEWS had reported that Francis was to be in South Sudan from July 5-7 after visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo July 2-5 on the same trip. While in South Sudan, he was to visit the capital, Juba, and in the DRC he was to visit Kinshasa and Goma.
In Juba he was to lead a prayer vigil with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland Rev Iain Greenshields.
It would have been the first joint visit of its kind by leaders of Roman Catholic, Anglican and Reformed traditions.
The Vatican said the visit would take place at “a later date to be determined”. The decision had been made “at the request of [the Pope’s] doctors, and in order not to jeopardise the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee”.
The 85-year-old pontiff has made several visits to Africa since becoming pope in 2013.