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Pope's Lebanon trip likely to be postponed due to his health

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis's trip to Lebanon next month will likely be postponed because of the pontiff's difficulty walking, a source said on Monday.

The June 12-13 trip had been announced by the Lebanese government. The Vatican has not yet officially announced the trip but the Pope has referred to plans to make it on those days in recent interviews. 

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss such matters, said the pope's health was the main concern.

A plan for the pope to go from Lebanon to Jerusalem on June 14 to meet Kirill, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, had already been cancelled because of the war in Ukraine.

In recent weeks, the 85-year-old pope has been suffering from a flare-up of pain in the right knee, in addition to a long-time case of sciatica, which also causes pain in the legs. 

Last Thursday, he used a wheelchair in public for the first time and has been using one since during his private and public audiences.

He is scheduled to make two trips in July, one to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other to Canada.

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