Pope Francis’ Lebanon trip ‘delayed for health reasons’

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


Pope Francis meets with members of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in the Apostolic Palace on May 7, 2022. / Vatican Media.

Beirut, Lebanon, May 9, 2022 / 10:25 am (CNA).

Pope Francis is postponing his June trip to Lebanon, according to the country’s tourism minister.

Walid Nassar announced the delay on May 9, citing “health reasons,” reported AFP.

“Lebanon has received a letter from the Vatican officially informing it of the decision to postpone the pope’s planned visit to Lebanon,” Nassar said in a statement.

The delay was also reported on Monday by Reuters, which said sources had confirmed that the June 12-13 trip would not go ahead due to the pope’s difficulties in walking.

The 85-year-old has been making his public appearances in a wheelchair since May 5 due to a torn ligament in his right knee.

Pope Francis has expressed his desire to travel to Lebanon on several occasions.

The country’s President Michel Aoun said in April that the pope would visit the crisis-hit Middle Eastern nation of 6.8 million people in June.

Responding to Aoun’s announcement, Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See press office, described the trip as “a possibility that is being studied.”

The Vatican has never officially confirmed the papal visit to Lebanon. But it has said that the pope will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan on July 2-7.

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