“The doctor told me not to walk” | National Catholic Registry
He discussed his knee problem during a meeting with a Catholic pilgrimage group from Slovakia on April 30.
Pope Francis said on Saturday he continued to have problems with his leg, for which his doctor ordered him not to walk.
“There is a problem: this leg is not good, it does not work and the doctor told me not to walk. I like going there… but this time I have to obey the doctor,” he said during a meeting with a Catholic pilgrimage group from Slovakia on April 30.
At the end of his speech in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the pope said he would not be able to walk to greet Slovak pilgrims.
“For this, I will ask you for the sacrifice of climbing the stairs, and I will greet you from here, seated,” he said. “It’s a humiliation, but I offer it for your country.”
Pope Francis suffers from an inflamed ligament in his right knee, causing pain when he walks. In recent weeks, he has canceled meetings and opted to spend more time sitting at public hearings or masses.
At Saturday’s rally, the pope walked unaided, but with a visible limp, to his seat on the stage. He also stood while giving the final blessing. Otherwise, he remained seated.
In his address, Pope Francis referred to his visit to Slovakia in September 2021, which he says he carries “in my heart”.
He addressed thousands of Catholics who came on pilgrimage to Rome from Slovakia in thanks for the Pope’s trip to their country.
“It was a great pleasure for me to see how the Church in Slovakia experiences the richness of the diversity of rites and traditions, as a bridge that unites Christian West and East,” Pope Francis said.
“We thank the Lord because, despite the pandemic, I was able to visit your country; can he [God] to ripen the fruits of the apostolic journey”.
Francis also thanked the Slovak people for welcoming him to their country and for the hospitality he now shows to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.
“In recent months, many of your families, parishes and institutions have taken into their homes the mothers and children of Ukrainian families forced to separate to save themselves, who had arrived with their poor baggage,” he said.
“Looking into their eyes,” the pope added, “you witness how war violates family ties, deprives children of their fathers’ presence, of school and leaves grandparents abandoned. “.
He encouraged Slovak Catholics to continue to pray and work for peace in their country.
“Whoever welcomes a person in need performs not only an act of charity, but also of faith, because he recognizes Jesus in his brother and sister,” he said.
“Thank you,” he continued, “for your fidelity to Christ, manifested in the witness of the faith lived, in the practical ecumenism of your relations with your neighbours, in the charity that welcomes also those who are different, in the respect for every human life and in responsible care of the environment.