Pope Francis expressed his "
" at not being able to undertake this Saturday his trip initially planned to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, postponed in June
due to knee pain.
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The Lord knows how great my regret is to have been forced to postpone this much desired and expected visit
," said the pope in a video message released Saturday by the Vatican.
But let's not lose confidence and hope to meet again as soon as possible
He continues with words for each of the two countries he was to visit: "
I am thinking of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of the exploitation, violence and insecurity it endures, particularly in the east of country, where armed clashes continue, causing countless and dramatic suffering, exacerbated by the indifference and complacency of many
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"I apologize": Pope Francis explains the postponement of his trip to Africa
And I am thinking of South Sudan, of the cry for peace of its people who, exhausted by violence and poverty, are waiting for concrete facts from the national reconciliation process to which I wish to contribute
Dear Congolese and South Sudanese friends, words at this time are not enough to convey to you the closeness that I would like to express to you and the affection that I feel for you
,” he said again.
Travel to Canada confirmed
On June 10, the Vatican announced the postponement of this trip, rekindling concerns about the pope's state of health.
At the beginning of April, during a two-day trip to Malta, he appeared weakened by his joint problems and had to use a lifting platform to get on and off his plane.
And in May, Lebanon had already announced the postponement of the pope's visit scheduled for June, citing "
But this is the first time that the Vatican has announced the postponement of a trip abroad for such reasons.
The pope, however, confirmed in June that he would indeed travel to Canada from July 24 to 30.
Read alsoPope Francis appoints 16 new cardinals
Suffering from severe pain in his right knee, the Argentine pope, who has appeared in a wheelchair since the beginning of May, announced that he was undergoing infiltrations, injections of corticosteroid-based anti-inflammatories.
The sovereign pontiff also suffers from hip pain which makes him limp and underwent a delicate colon operation in July 2021.