Pope Francis withdraws from ecumenical peace pilgrimage to South Sudan

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(Photo: Vatican News)

Pope Francis will no longer travel to Africa in July due to worsening knee pain, the Vatican has announced.

He has withdrawn from his planned apostolic visit to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo next month on the advice of his doctors.

The visit was to include an ecumenical peace pilgrimage to South Sudan undertaken jointly with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

“At the request of his doctors and in order not to compromise the results of the therapy he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has been forced to postpone, with regret, his apostolic journey,” the spokesperson said. of the Vatican, Matteo Bruni.

The statement added that the visit would be postponed to a later date.

Responding to the announcement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “I pray for my dear brother Pope Francis and share his regret that our visit to South Sudan with the Moderator of the Church of Scotland be postponed.

“I continue to pray for the people of South Sudan in their challenges and hopes for peace, and I look forward to making this historic visit at a later date.”

A spokesperson for Lambeth Palace added, “We are in contact with the Episcopal Church of South Sudan to discuss next steps that will promote peace for the people of South Sudan.”

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