The 85-year-old pope's comment comes after he used a cane to walk a short distance during the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families on June 25 and across the stage of Paul VI Hall in an audience with Neocatechumenal Way members on June 27.
Pope Francis has said that he began medical treatment for a knee injury the first week of May. He has postponed two international trips to Lebanon and South Sudan due to his health.
In Pope Francis’ meeting with the delegation of Brazilian bishops, he encouraged them to talk with him for as long as they wanted and to speak “without censorship.”
The meeting lasted for three hours as Brazilian bishops spoke of their concerns about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest with the pope, according to Vatican News’ Portuguese language service.
During the discussion about the Amazon, Archbishop Evaristo Pascoal Spengler of Marajo said that Pope Francis “closed his eyes in an expression of pain and suffering and then asked: ‘What can we do?’”
“He is very sensitive to this reality of destruction in the Amazon,” said Spengler, who serves as the president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (Repam).