Vatican City, Jan 23, 2021 / 13:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis has been forced to cancel three public appearances scheduled for Sunday and Monday due to a recurrence of the nerve pain that struck him at the end of 2020.
The Holy See press office announced on Jan. 23 that because of sciatica the 84-year-old pope would be unable to celebrate Mass marking the Sunday of the Word of God in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Mass, on Jan. 24, will be celebrated instead by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
But Pope Francis will still lead the Angelus prayer at noon on Sunday in the library of the Apostolic Palace, where the event has taken place since a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.
The pope’s annual “state of the world” address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, scheduled for Jan. 25, will now take place at a later date.