Pope Francis postpones DRC, South Sudan visit over ill health

Friday June 10 2022
Pope Francis.

Pope Francis is helped get up from his seat at the end of the weekly general audience on June 8, 2022 at St. Peter's Square in The Vatican. PHOTO | ALBERTO PIZZOLI | AFP


Pope Francis has postponed his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan due to ill health, an official has said.

The trip was planned for the first week of July but the Pope will now set another date, said Director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni as reported by Vatican News.

“Accepting the request of the doctors and in order not to cancel the results of the knee therapies still in progress, the Holy Father is forced, with regret, to postpone the apostolic journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, planned for 2-7 July, to a new date to be determined,” Bruni said.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Pope was due to visit the capital Kinshasa and Goma, in North Kivu province. The theme of Pope Francis' visit to the DRC was: “All reconciled in Jesus Christ”, and a major poster campaign was carried out in Kinshasa and North Kivu.

In Kinshasa, Pope Francis' programme included a two-hour Eucharistic celebration at Ndolo airport, north of Kinshasa. After the capital, the Pope was to fly to Goma where he was to lead a mass before meeting victims of violence in that part of the country.

Pope Francis' visit to the DRC was eagerly awaited, which would have come 37 years after Pope John Paul II visited Kinshasa.