Pope Francis will not lead the traditional New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day services due to his sciatica condition acting up, the Vatican said on Thursday.
The condition causes pain in the Pope’s right leg. This marks the first time in years that Francis had to skip a papal event for health reasons. He is already 84 years old.
The traditional event will be lead on Thursday afternoon by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, and the Friday Mass by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.
However, the Vatican said Francis would lead his noon prayer on Friday as scheduled.
Sciatica is a condition that causes pain that radiates from the lower back along the sciatic nerve to the lower part of the body. This causes to Pope to walk with difficulty during some occasions, which requires him to undergo physical therapy. SOVEREIGNPH