Pope cancels visit to Congo and South Sudan, citing health issues

Pope Francis
(Image credit: Photo by Stefano Costantino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Pope Francis announced in a video message released Saturday that he was canceling a planned trip to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to severe knee pain, Vatican News reported.

The pope has been publicly using a wheelchair for the past two months. Vatican observers have pointed to the pope's health issues, his visit to the tomb of the medieval Pope Celestine V, and his appointment of new cardinals as signs that the pontiff may be preparing to resign.

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