Troubled by knee pain and a host of other ailments, Pope Francis insisted that he’s not resigning and that the only place he’s going is to Canada, followed by war-torn eastern Europe.
The 85-year-old pontiff said in an interview Monday that despite being hobbled by a “small fracture” in his knee for the past month or so, he plans to visit Canada for a week beginning on July 24, then hopes to travel to Kyiv and Moscow amid ongoing fighting between Ukraine and Russia.
According to Reuters, Francis said stepping down from the highest position in the Catholic church “never entered my mind.”
The Pope, who used a wheelchair during his recovery, postponed planned trips to South Sudan and Congo this week based on doctor’s orders.
He said his recovery is “slowly” coming along thanks to a regiment that includes laser and magnet therapy.
The Argentine native’s papacy began in March 2013. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, who was the first pope to resign the position in nearly 700 years.
According to the religious leader, he injured himself while stepping awkwardly when his knee was inflamed.
He started using a wheelchair two months ago as he was having difficulty walking and standing for long. His knee issues are the latest in a series of health ailments he’s suffered. He underwent surgery last year to remove part of his colon, an operation that kept in hospitalized for 10 days. This year, he sat out Ash Wednesday celebrations in March and has conducted Mass while seated.
With News Wire Services