Pope Francis told to sit out ceremonies because of knee pain

Pope Francis has abandoned plans for a trip to Florence this weekend and will be unable to preside over Ash Wednesday services next week because of acute knee pain, the Vatican said on Friday.

The pope’s doctor had “prescribed a period of greater rest for his leg” because of “acute gonalgia”, or knee pain, the Vatican explained in a note.

The note did not specify whether the problem related to Francis’s previous difficulties with sciatica, a chronic nerve condition that causes back, hip and leg pain, makes him walk with a limp, and has forced him to cancel or modify high-profile appearances in the past.

That condition, which Francis has called his “troublesome guest,” also makes it difficult for him to stand for long periods.

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