Pope’s sciatica forces him to reduce his commitments

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Due to a recurrence of sciatica, Pope Francis has postponed his traditional annual reception of the international diplomatic corps scheduled for Monday, and has given up presiding over two masses.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni, however, added in a statement on Saturday that Francis would recite the traditional Angelus prayer on Sunday, an appointment broadcast by video from his private library due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 84-year-old sovereign pontiff had already had to cancel his participation in two celebrations on December 31 and January 1, due to “painful sciatica”, an illness that has affected him intermittently for several years.

The Argentine pope received a first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine ten days ago. The leader of the 1.3 billion Catholics is considered a person at risk: at age 21, in 1957, he suffered from acute pleurisy and surgeons had to carry out the partial removal of his right lung.

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