Pope Francis’ July Trip to Africa Postponed for Health Reasons

Pope Francis was planning to spend July 2-5 in the Congolese cities of Kinshasa and Goma, and July 5-7 in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

Pope Francis met with participants in the "Children's Train" of the "Cortile dei Gentili.”
Pope Francis met with participants in the "Children's Train" of the "Cortile dei Gentili.” (photo: Divisione Produzione Fotografica / Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ July trip to the African countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan has been postponed for health reasons, the Vatican said on Friday.

“At the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has been forced to postpone, with regret, his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to South Sudan,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on June 10.

The trip, planned for July 2-7, will be moved “to a later date to be determined,” the statement said.

Pope Francis was planning to spend July 2-5 in the Congolese cities of Kinshasa and Goma, and July 5-7 in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

The trip’s full program was published at the end of May.

The 85-year-old has been suffering from a painful inflamed ligament in his knee, limiting his ability to walk. He has been using a wheelchair during public appearances since last month.

He is still scheduled to visit Canada on July 24-29.

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen celebrates the episcopal consecration of Father John Kiplimo Lelei as auxiliary bishop of Kenya’s Diocese of Eldoret on May 25, 2024.

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The Nairobi-based Vatican diplomat, who has also been representing the Holy Father in South Sudan, highlighted the need to seek God’s mercy as important and implored: “Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”