Pope Francis Ditches New Year’s Services Due to Back Pain

The head of the Catholic Church has been forced to sit out the Vatican’s New Year’s celebrations because the religious leader suffers from painful sciatica.

AceShowbizPope Francis has been forced to bow out of plans to participate in the Vatican’s New Year’s celebrations due to a back condition.

The head of the Catholic church will be skipping the end-of-year prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica on Thursday (31Dec20) and Mass on Friday (01Jan21) as he struggles with “painful sciatica,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni tells The Associated Press. Other senior religious leaders will take charge of the main services, although the Pontiff still plans to deliver his New Year’s blessing on Friday afternoon.

The Pope previously shared his battle with the back condition in 2013.

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“I was sitting in an armchair to do interviews and it hurt,” he back then. “Sciatica is very painful, very painful! I don’t wish it on anyone!”

The pope previously delivered his annual Christmas address from a grandiose hall inside the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. He pleaded with world leaders and international organizations to help make sure the most vulnerable and needy have access to Covid-19 vaccine amid the pandemic.

“We cannot allow the various forms of nationalism closed in on themselves to prevent us from living as the truly human family that we are,” the pope said.

“Nor can we allow the virus of radical individualism to get the better of us and make us indifferent to the suffering of other brothers and sisters,” he continued. “I cannot place myself ahead of others, letting the law of the marketplace and patents take precedence over the law of love and the health of humanity.”

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