This five-day visit to Canada confirmed to Pope Francis that the time of long journeys filled with many daily public events undoubtedly belongs to the past for him. During the press conference he held on the plane that brought him back from Canada, on the night of Friday July 29 to Saturday July 30, François explained his intention to continue doing this, however. “I’ll try to keep traveling”, he said. But he didn’t think he could “continue the same pace of travel as before”. “I believe that at my age, and with these limitations, I need to save a little to serve the Church”he admitted.
The three Canadian stops (Edmonton, Quebec and Iqualuit), with thousands of kilometers covered, several time zone changes and reduced mobility due to the use of a wheelchair, are a test for the Vatican. The Argentine pope made a conclusion saying that there is no false modesty and simplicity: “I think I should limit myself in these efforts. Maybe we should change the style, reduce, again [les voyages]. »
Since May, knee pain, caused in part by a fracture, has prevented him from taking more than a few steps and forced him to use a wheelchair most of the time. Knee surgery may be considered, he suggests: “The doctors told me yes. » But he himself denied it. “In my case, it’s not appropriate”, he said. The six-hour anesthesia he underwent a year ago for a partial colon removal left him with unpleasant memories. “I still have consequenceshe said. And we’re not kidding about that. »
Blur the next trips
The movements of the coming months are taking shape, but there is an ambiguity. In September, he must go to Kazakhstan, where the interreligious meeting will be held and where he hopes to meet for the second time Kirill, the patriarch of Moscow. “It’s a quiet trip, without travel”, he argued. He also wants to go to Ukraine, which may not be very peaceful. “We will see now what I will find when I go to Kyiv”he said.
A visit planned for the beginning of July to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan had to be postponed for the last time, precisely because of his knee. François announced that he might split these two destinations, with a trip to South Sudan first, “because it is a trip with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the Bishop of the Church of Scotland”. DRC comes later, “But it’s next year, [après] the rainy season “. “Me, I have all the good will, but let’s see what my foot says”he expected.
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