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Vatican confirms Pope Francis will travel to Africa at end of January despite knee problem


Last June, knee problems forced Pope Francis to postpone his trip to two of the world's most war-torn countries: South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

POPE FRANCIS
I really feel a lot of regret for having to reschedule this trip that I care so much about.

The trip was supposed to take place in July. The Vatican has now confirmed that the Pope will try to make the trip from January 31 to February 5. This confirms what Pope Francis said when he was returning from his trip to Canada. During the in-flight press conference, he said he would try to make the trip in early 2023.

The Pope will first visit the Democratic Republic of Congo. One change from the original visit is that he will not travel to the eastern part of the country to meet with victims of the armed conflicts raging in the Kivu region. Instead, they will travel to see the Pope at the nunciature in the capital city of Kinshasa.

On February 3, Pope Francis will travel to South Sudan. Since the civil war began in 2013, more than 2 million people have had to flee their homes.

The Community of Sant'Egidio, the Pope and other Christian leaders, such as the Anglican Primate, have long worked to foster peace among the main actors in the conflict. The most notorious event, perhaps, was the meeting organized at the Vatican. 

POPE FRANCIS
I ask you as a brother, stay in peace.

There Francis kissed the feet of the warring leaders to implore them to end the war.

In South Sudan the Pope will also limit his movements somewhat more, although he practically maintains the same agenda as the July trip.

The Vatican also informs that this is not just any trip because this visit to South Sudan is defined as an "Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage". Francis will travel accompanied by other Christian leaders.

JRB
TR: KG