VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis, who is suffering from severe knee pain, appeared in a wheelchair for the first time in public on Thursday.
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The 85-year-old pontiff arrived at an audience in the Paul VI hall on a wheelchair pushed by one of his close service members, AFP found.
Smiling, the pope read his speech and answered questions as usual.
On Tuesday, he announced that he had to undergo infiltrations to treat his painful right knee due to a damaged ligament, which recently forced him to cancel meetings scheduled on his agenda.
“I’ve been in this state for a while, I can’t walk anymore,” he said in an interview with the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera published on Tuesday.
The infiltrations consist of injections of corticosteroid-based anti-inflammatories but no surgical intervention is planned for the moment, Vatican sources told AFP.
On Wednesday, during the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the pope appeared particularly in difficulty and had to be helped to walk and get up.
He also suffers from hip pain which makes him limp and underwent delicate colon surgery in July 2021, after which he also had to use a wheelchair.