The traditional mass and procession of the Catholic Church after Corpus Christi takes place without Pope Francis: the 85-year-old pontiff cancels another important appointment after his trip to Africa because of his knee problems. Rumors of his resignation are discussed.
Pope Francis canceled another important event due to severe knee problems. The head of the Catholic Church could not hold the traditional mass and procession after Corpus Christi next Sunday because of his condition, the Holy See announced. The Pope usually celebrates the "Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ" in Rome or outside the city on the Sunday after Corpus Christi, which includes a parade.
However, the 85-year-old pontiff will not be expected to do this this year. Previously, he had not led the service on Easter Vigil and the mass on Pentecost Sunday - but he attended the masses. Francis has long suffered from knee problems, which have recently gotten worse. For the last few weeks he has been in a wheelchair most of the time.
The Vatican also canceled a trip to Africa in early July because of the pontiff's health. "Upon the advice of his doctors and in order not to affect the results of his therapy, which he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has had to regretfully cancel his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, scheduled for the 2nd to July 7 was planned to be postponed to a later date," said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni on Friday. A trip to Lebanon scheduled for June was also put on hold again due to the Argentine's health problems. The Pope's visit to Canada at the end of July is also on the agenda.
Francis' knee problems, coupled with an appointment constellation at the end of August, recently caused media speculation about a possible resignation of the pontiff. On August 27 he wants to appoint 21 new cardinals. A day later, Francis is scheduled to visit the Italian city of L'Aquila, where Pope Celestine V, the first on the See of Peter to resign in life, is buried. In the next two days, the plan is for all cardinals to come to the Vatican to - as the Holy See announced - talk about the new apostolic constitution.
It has now been speculated that the Pope could announce his resignation at the end of August and then have all the cardinals in town for a conclave. However, some observers consider this theory to be improbable and justify the choice of these dates with the fact that there are still few appointments in the church at the end of August and that a meeting of churchmen is therefore easier and cheaper. In addition, Francis does not seem tired of office.