Pope Francis’ visit to South Sudan postponed

Pope Francis’ visit to South Sudan postponed
Pope Francis (photo credit: courtesy)

Pope Francis has temporarily put to hold the much-anticipated visit to South Sudan.

The Vatican announced Friday that the Pope’s visit to Africa – which also included the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC), has been postponed on health grounds.

“At the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardise the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee, Pope Francis has been forced to postpone, with regret, his “Apostolic Journey” to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to South Sudan,” – Matteo Bruni, Director of Holy See Press Office said in a statement.

The trip was originally scheduled to take place in the first week of July.

Vatican said that the visit will take place on a “later date to be determined”.

The Pope’s apostolic journey to Africa was to include two stops in the DRC – in the capital, Kinshasa, and the city of Goma – then later to Juba.

The Pontiff was expected in Juba for a two-day visit on July 5.

While in Juba, the Pope was set to meet political, religious as well pay homage to a camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Pope Francis, 85 has been confined to a wheelchair for over a month after he suffered a ligament strain in his right knee.

The injury has restricted his mobility though it is reported that he sometimes walks with the aid of a cane when necessary.

After Africa, Pope Francis was also set to visit Canada between July 24-30.

The Vatican, however, did not disclose whether the visit is still in place or whether it will also be affected by the latest health developments.