Pope Francis will not celebrate Corpus Christi Mass nor lead traditional procession

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will not celebrate Mass for Corpus Christi this year, nor will he lead the Vatican’s traditional procession through Rome due to the persistent knee pain that has had him using a wheelchair and a cane in recent weeks.

The Pope is not canceling this event, as it was never officially announced, but it is the first time he will not participate in this yearly celebration which the Vatican typically observes on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

In the first years of his papacy, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for Corpus Christi at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome’s cathedral, but even before the pandemic he had decided to move the Eucharist to a parish on the outskirts of Rome.

The Pope has also had to cancel his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, planned for early July, due to health problems.

The question will now be whether his doctors will advise him against other large events planned for the month of June, such as the World Meeting of Families on the 25, or the feast of St. Peter on the 29, when he blesses the palliums of bishops with metropolitan jurisdiction named in the last year.


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