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Pope Francis after trip to Canada: I think I have to limit myself and my efforts a little bit

Pope Francis did not miss his traditional press conference with journalists at the end of a papal trip. On the plane back from Canada, he answered their questions seated and spoke about how he feels physically after a week abroad.

I don't think I can go with the same pace of the previous trips, you know? I think at my age and with this limitation, I have to save some energy in order to be able to serve the Church or, on the other hand, to think about the possibility of stepping down. Honestly, this is not a catastrophe. The Pope can change. He can change, no problem. But I think I have to limit myself and my efforts a little bit.

Pope Francis also explained why it was not possible for him to have knee surgery. 

In my case, it is not possible to operate. The doctors say I could, but there is the problem of anesthesia. 10 months ago I endured more than six hours of anesthesia and there are still traces in my system. You don't mess around with anesthesia, you know? And that's why it's not entirely convenient to operate.

In July 2021, Pope Francis had surgery at the Gemelli University Polyclinic. Part of his colon was removed and he remained in the hospital for 11 days.

But I will try to continue going on trips and being close to people because I believe it is a way of serving—being close to them.

The next international trip is scheduled to be Kazakhstan later this year. The Pope said that the trip should be quieter because he will be attending an interreligious congress rather than making a pastoral visit.

He also said he would like to make the trip to Africa that had previously been cancelled. Pope Francis expressed his desire to travel to South Sudan as soon as possible, but the visit to the Republic of Congo will have to be postponed until next year as the rainy season begins in a few weeks.