Vatican City, Dec 31, 2020 / 09:20 am America/Denver (CNA).
Because of sciatic pain, Pope Francis will not preside at the Vatican's liturgies on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to the Holy See press office.
Pope Francis was scheduled to lead vespers on Dec. 31, and to offer Mass on Jan. 1, for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter's Basilica.
The director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni, stated Dec. 31 that the pope would no longer be doing so "due to a painful sciatica."
Pope Francis has suffered from sciatica for a number of years. He spoke about it during an in-flight press conference returning from a trip to Brazil in July 2013.
He revealed that "the worst thing" that had happened in the first four months of his pontificate "was an attack of sciatica – really! – that I had the first month, because I was sitting in an armchair to do interviews and it hurt."