The Vatican announced on Friday that Pope Francis is delaying his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan because of an ongoing problem with his knee.
“At the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has been forced to postpone, with regret, his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to South Sudan, planned for 2 to 7 July, to a later date to be determined,” said Matteo Bruni, communications director for the Pope’s office in a statement.
Francis is scheduled to start his short trip to Canada on July 24. He is expected to visit Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit.
News of the visit was announced during meetings with a delegation of residential school survivors and leaders from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council who travelled to the Vatican to meet with Francis.
At the end of that week-long trip, the Pope apologized for the role some members of the Catholic Church played in abuses at church-run schools.
It’s expected that Francis will also issue another apology while in Canada.
“The Catholic Church has a responsibility to take genuine and meaningful steps to journey with Indigenous Peoples of this land on the lengthy path to healing and reconciliation,” said a statement from the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops on the Pope’s trip to Canada.