Pope Francis will be unable to preside over Ash Wednesday services on March 2 because of acute knee pain, according to media reports.
The pope’s doctor had “prescribed a period of greater rest for the leg” because of “acute gonalgia,” or knee pain, the Vatican explained in a note.
On February 24, President Vladimir Putin of Russia ordered a “special military operation” in Ukraine. Ukraine said it faced a “full-scale attack from multiple directions.”
Hours after the Russian offensive began, the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops’ Conference sent a message to the faithful, inviting them to pray for “the leaders of our state, for our army” and also “for those who started the war and were blinded by aggression.”
The bishops urged the faithful not to give in to “hatred and rage.”
Pope Francis on Friday exhorted Christians to keep clear of a fake, commercial Christmas, polluted by consumerism and indifference. He made the remark to a group of 3 delegations who donated two Nativity Scenes and a Christmas tree to the Vatican this year.